Thursday, 9 July 2009

These Are Not Nazi Girls

Poppy and the Jezebels

The Guardian called them 'devastatingly cool'. NME has predicted they'll be superstars. There's a lot of hype surrounding Birminghams Poppy and the Jezebels, most of it focusing on the 'four attractive teenage girls in a group - oh yeah, and they play music too' angle. However, those with their brains switched on know that PATJ produce intelligent indie pop full of witty diatribes and eloquent poetry, regardless of age and gender. Oh, and they happen to photograph well too. Following the release of their most recent single 'Rhubard and Custard' (which is a CHOON, fyi) we caught up with the Jezebels to see whats going on in their world, and their personal take on style as we know it...

Hello there. Hows things, and whats been going on in the world of your music?

Hello! Summer has been treating us well, we’ve just played the Isle of Wight Festival and are playing the 1,2,3,4 Festival in Shoreditch on the 26th July along with other gigs popping up round the country. When we’re not gigging, we’ve been continuing to record, rehearse and refine our travelling show... and whilst there are lots of interesting things happening in Jezebel world at the moment, we couldn’t possibly divulge it all for fear of breaking the spell ! In other words, watch this space, because the night is young... ooh! But take a look at the imminent issues of LOVE and Vice mags… we’ve just done shoots for them!

2) What are your plans in terms of yr music for the next few months?

School’s out forever! (at least for us) and we’re now spending all our time just writing, writing, writing... We’re busying ourselves by making forever bigger and better pop songs, experimenting instrumentally and generally making the most of our fab new rehearsal space. There’s a couple of new songs now that we just want to get recorded as soon as possible and get out there for people to hear.

3)How would you describe your style?

We’re not interested in fickle fashion trends or industry buzzwords, and instead just wear exactly what it is we want to wear, making it hard to exactly define our style. However, we’re all massively into vintage clothing, especially mid-century boutique designers like Biba, Bus Stop and Ossie Clark. We like to find pieces from designers like Barbara Hulanicki that were worn by young, exciting and excited people, something with a bit of history. It’s not a retro revival for us though, we mix these finds with handmade costumes from the internet, Topshop basics and Vivienne Westwood (when in the sales... !)

4) In terms of fashion, who and what are your influences?Women with strong, iconic looks- Nico in a white suit, Debbie Harry in Steven Sprouse, Poison Ivy in top-to-toe gold lurex, Patti Smith in a leather jacket, or nothing at all...

5) If you could trade wardrobes with one person, who would it be and why?

Liza Minnelli. You can actually purchase some of her old wardrobe off the internet, but it’s all thousands of pounds. It would be worth it though- everything is very Cabaret - sequins, ostrich feathers, glossy capes... It’s all over-the-top and terribly wonderful.

6)Where are your favourite places to shop?

Unless we’re visiting World’s End on Kings Road... the internet is the place to buy the most elaborate vintage outfits from the 30’s to the 70’s. However, we always enjoy a hop to Portobello Market where we buy cut-price sunglasses and Amber very proudly got an entire outfit for £2.50 !

7)What items in your wardbrobe hold particular sentimental value to you?

4 years ago I bought a leopard print fur coat from Topshop Vintage, and it is probably the one item I have most solidly worn these past 4 years, seeing me comfortably through every harsh English winter. Now the lining has started to disintegrate and the sleeves are coming apart at the seams, but I just can’t let it go !

8) What significance do you think fashion holds to todays youth?

For those who manage to ignore all the trite magazines that tell you how to look exactly like Victoria Beckham or Cheryl Cole, I think fashion remains what it always has been- a chance to experiment and create your own identity. The way you wear clothes can also be a form of rebellion, if you do it properly! It can be amazing how shocking some people find four girls in dresses who are playing their own instruments...

9)What are your biggest ever fashion mistakes?!

Mollie will always cringe at the old photos of us at our first ever gig in Birmingham- she wore a blue pvc skirt, lime green tights, a gold belt, neon beads...! She absolutely hates it now but I still think she looked fabulous!

10)What are your three golden style rules?

Mix it up ! – life isn’t a revival show.

Get a free haircut from the hairdresser at the shoot !

Raybans hide all sins!

© Copyright Betti Hunter 2009

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