Pop star Allie X talks Paris Fashion Week, bleaching her brows and risking it all for fashion
Allie X (born Alexandra Ashley Hughes in Canada in 1985) is already a fashion icon, whether she's wearing teen queen worthy plaid or high fashion looks straight off the runway.
She started her career in Toronto making indie pop - since then, she’s amassed a whole slew of celebrity fans, from Katy Perry who called her music a “spring jam” to her recent collaborators Troye Sivan and Mitski.
These days, she’s putting out albums chock full of straight bops (just try to listen to 'That's So Us' without having it in your head for the rest of eternity) and hitting up Fashion Weeks across the globe. On Instagram, she recently described her style as “pastel, goth, amish, b*tch," which is on brand.
I met Allie X while she was in town for New York Fashion Week and she looked every inch the style icon in an ensemble that wouldn’t have been out of place in a Heathers update. We reconnected over the phone while she was in Paris to talk about her recent Fashion Week looks, ranging from a classic Jackie O-worthy trench coat to a lace cut-out legging that would be ideal for a night in the edgiest club. For her latest album, Cape God, she's channeled her inner high schooler - only make it fashion.
We caught up to talk about the album's aesthetic, her edgy hair and makeup looks and how she puts it all together for fashion week.
"It’s a record that's very personal, but by the same token, I wanted it to be a fantasy, a little bit aesthetically in a more fantastical, surreal direction. It’s a record about my experience in high school but then I would have been sick and tiny with braces wearing clothes that didn’t fit me so instead I thought creating this sort of mysterious school girl. I liked the idea of the blonde streaks at the front because I did have that at the time but I did it in a more fashionable way at the time. The blonde eyebrows make me look a little more alien, which to me is more aesthetically pleasing and feels more who I am. I like having an aspect on my face that makes people look twice."
Shortly before being reprimanded by a local for posing in front of a church. ⛪️ Oop. Feature in @interview_de out now. 📷 @guillaumethomasparis PS @kieleykimmelstudio thank you for making these boots happen
A post shared by allie x (@alliex) on Mar 5, 2020 at 4:09am PST
Allie described a recent album fashion shoot where she "wanted to pick fashion that wasn’t too 'fashion.' I wanted it to be subtle, I didn’t want to be bent over with my chest caved in posing, I wanted to feel like I was capturing a moment in the photo. That kind of schoolgirl quality but also grunge and goth at the same time."
For her Oregon shoot, she fell in love with a dress at the Viktor & Rolf couture week show. "It really blew me away, it had this sort of prairie goth girl, they all had tattoos on their faces for makeup."
After eyeing it, the dress was shipped to Portland for the shoot. "It's like a piece of fine art. I think it’s insured for a lot of money - more than I have in my bank account. So we were nervous but we had to shoot it. We were shooting it in this mountain top location, so we had to hike up a national park with this couture dress. We had to make sure it didn’t touch anything with a stool underneath. I had my producer standing behind me so I didn't fall on a deep incline into the ocean," she joked.
Day 1: Fittings
"My stylist Kylie and I put a lot of thought into makeup looks and then Marlon Monroe is my hair and makeup guy. We’ll be texting the night before about what looks we should do. I’m a person who definitely tends towards maximalism because it’s so fun to do crazy looks but I reeled myself in because I think I was such a chameleon that I was unrecognizable last year. I’m attending the show as a guest, not as the star, so when I pick makeup and hair looks I definitely try to think about what the designer represents and what they would like to see me do," she said over the phone.
I went to Ottolinger and noticed they had really crazy wigs, so I decided to really go there with the hair. We did a latex wig painted blonde that Marlon cut to my head. We decided to paint blonde into the latex wig. Because that was so extreme, I barely did any makeup.
I try to think about juxtaposition as well. If I’m wearing something that looks really elegant, I like to throw in a little bit of grunge. If I’m wearing something over the top, I would almost do a no-makeup look, no mascara, just a bleached brow."
Day 2: Ottolinger, Koche, Louboutin party
"The first show that I did was Ottolinger, who was a designer I wasn’t familiar with until I got invited to the show. Even during my fitting, I was unsure about what they were all about, but then when I saw the show it really made sense for me.
My look was leggings and this halter top. It’s open to interpretation how you want to wear it. It’s definitely not something I‘m going to wear, it kind of looks like I‘m going clubbing in the '90s. I got a lot of compliments on it. I went without bra and underwear but it seemed to cover everything up alright.
It’s a company run by two women from Switzerland originally and I got to meet them after the show. They both look young and really cool and that’s enough for me to want to support this brand now because I thought they seemed like really cool girls. I always relate to young women doing independently.
The next one I did was sort of a joint look because I had the Koche fashion show but then the Louboutin party after that, so I did a Louboutin thigh-high boot which they gifted me. It’s not comfortable but it’s not crazy uncomfortable. They’re forest green suede and can look black to turquoise depending on how you photograph them. They’re skintight they make your legs look snatched. I was wearing glasses so I just wanted to make it all about a red lip to match the bottoms of the shoes and my purse.
The trench that I was wearing from Koche had a really interesting mesh lining. I loved the silhouette with the big shoulder, it’s a nice, flattering, oversized coat.
The show itself was cool. They made some strange lighting choices where they were red gels so you couldn’t really see the colors of the outfits. It was in a huge warehouse space and they closed the show with a couple making out in the middle with 'I Want to Know What Love Is.' It was so hot."
Day 3: Lanvin
"This was the day I was most excited because of the designers. The first was Lanvin and Bruno has taken over. I attended Mens’ back in January and Women's it’s just incredible, the direction that he’s taking the brand in. I’m such a fan.
My look was something I saw when I was here in January. I couldn’t have felt more myself in that look.
It’s a preppy, elegant feminine outfit, so I wanted to do a wet greasy hair look to contrast that. We did lashes which I don’t usually do and played up the blush tones.
For makeup, I wanted to do something that was bold but subtle, so I did a black line on the top and bottom of my eye.
It was of those fashion shows where you really want to be part of what you’re seeing. I was really feeling the fantasy."