Barnardo’s ambassador Nicola Roberts, the singer and songwriter of Girls Aloud fame has taken time out of the studio to answer some questions on her passion for fashion.
1. What is your signature styling trick?
My signature styling trick is that I dress for how I feel or how I’d like to feel for that day or occasion. I think it’s just a representation of my personality and what mood I’m in and that I suppose makes it signature.
Most things are led by emotion with me and unfortunately that includes what I’m wearing, I don’t like leaving the house and not feeling like myself.
2. How do you navigate day to evening wear?
Sometimes it’s hard as I’m pretty much in the studio every day and it’s a very relaxed environment. I usually wear jeans and flats. If I know I have dinner that evening I’ll wear some heeled boots but even then heels at the studio feels overdressed. You have to just work out a happy medium for you. Planning and preparation is key. If I have an event to go to I usually go from the studio and that means taking half of my wardrobe with me to work!
3. Who is hot right now on the fashion scene?
Kendal Jenner’s style is very simple and elegant. There is definitely an effortless and chic theme running throughout her style. I also love FKA Twigs’ style. Her pieces look mostly vintage or custom which I love. I love character and quirkiness. I love clashing and making things work – that maybe at first glance don’t. I like it when I can see the expression. For me, between the two it would depend on how I’m feeling that day, whether I would go for more of a simple and clean look or more of a detailed and experimental look.
4. Who is your style crush?
Right now it’s FKA Twigs and Lana Del Ray. Not just for their styling but for their music and the visuals to compliment. I also look to the imagination and demeanour of women like Vivienne Westwood, Iris Apfel and Diane Von Furstenberg – each believing fearlessly in their own eye for fashion. These women show me that confidence in your expression carries your style even further.
5. Name your top three designers?
Henry Holland & Vivienne Westwood for personality. Henry is a great friend and I’m always inspired and very proud of him for the way he reinvents House Of Holland each season. He’s a brilliant designer and his personality leads HOH like no one else could. You can see him in all of his designs and that’s what makes it so fun, as well as authentic. I also love to look at couture. It impresses me so much. I love to see detail and richness. Some of the collections are what dreams are made of. The Giambattista Valli and Oscar De La Renta being a couple of my favourites.
6. What three items would you take to a desert island?
As this is a fashion Q&A I’ll start by saying my crystal heart shaped Miu Miu flat sandals, my Chanel towelling beach bag and a good book. At the moment I’m reading a spiritual book called ‘The Journey Of Our Souls.’ I think it’s imperative for any quiet time to have a book. When you’re not catching fish on your desert island you can relax in the right way with a good book.
7. What is currently on your style wish list?
I love the coloured Manolo Blahnik classic pumps. I love the flats also. They’re so elegant and come in all different coloured Satins and have a signature crystal embellishment that sits on the toes of the shoe. I would love a pair of those. They’re the shoes Carrie Bradshaw was obsessed with in ‘Sex and The City’, when you see them you will see why.
8. Do you have any tips on de-cluttering your wardrobe?
I am the worst person to help you with this. I recently dug deep into my wardrobe to pull out some flared jeans that I hadn’t worn for 7 years. Since they have come back into trend I haven’t taken them off. I would only throw something away that had worn fabric or maybe an item that you know you have 100% grown out of. Although I do advise to keep your wardrobe in order as this keeps your clothes in good condition and also will save you the stressful situation of not being able to find what you’re looking for when you’re already late. That then leads to an outfit that’s the result of panic and you not feeling good about yourself all day or night.
9. It is well known that you have a passion for all things fashion, where did your obsession start from?
I was lucky to be working with a great team of people when I was still very young, stylists, make-up artists, hair stylists, creative directors, that were all constantly showing me references for looks for videos and shoots. It then led to those things I had seen becoming part of my personality. My eye for quality grew. I was no longer satisfied with every day fashion as I knew it. Once I learnt how to express myself through fashion I felt like my personality was able to be creative with how I would dress and it’s just so fun to me. When I first started attending fashion shows, I would see models, designers and fashion fans attending that were daring with their looks, expressive and full of confidence. I was in a girl group and the look of the group was very much based around glamour and beauty. I didn’t fit into that mould as well as the others and I felt like fashion was a release for me as there were no rules. There are avenues within fashion that lead with individuality over beauty. There is a place for everybody’s look, it’s expression which is championed and where creativity can be seen, it’s appreciated.
10. What is your current favourite piece of clothing that you own?
I have quite a few signature pieces that I love. I bought my first Chanel handbag 8 years ago and I use it almost every day. It’s still my favourite and it holds a lot of great memories. One day, if I keep all of my pieces neat, I can give them to my daughter or nieces.
11. When visiting charity shops, what items do you keep an eye out for?
Charity shops are essentially vintage stores that just fall under a different description because of where the money is going. I feel you can create more of a personal style when shopping within vintage and charity stores. You find single pieces that are full of character that you can pair with a capsule item like a vest or jeans. What I love about a charity store is you can go in one day and find a jacket that your imagination couldn’t have even come up with and nobody else will have it. Every now and then you will find the most amazing item. They’re like Aladdin’s caves for fashion.
12. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to watch movies. Have some good food in front of me, candles on and a great movie is always a great me time. I love to go to exhibitions too. I love art and visiting new exhibits that the galleries are showing. I wish galleries did late night viewings too. I always think it would make a nice evening after work especially for a date. I’m currently trying to find a dance class, I miss dancing so much.
13. What exciting projects are you working on at the minute?
I spend the majority of my time writing. It’s what I love to do and I’m lucky that a thing that feels in part who I am, I get to do every day. It’s a great feeling when other artists want to take your song for their own. I want to get better at it and would like one day for great writers to say I was a good one too.
I recently helped on a Radio 1 make a documentary on modest fashion. Helping ask and answer the questions that surround Muslim fashion within the UK. I love to learn about different cultures, I am fascinated by the different ways we all live our lives. It was great to be talking about both fashion and culture for the same project.