Thursday, September 4, 2008

Welsh Songstress Duffy Has an Eye for Fashion

Duffy in a Charlotte Ronson silk minidress

Duffy, Welsh singer-songwriter with a love for fashion, spoke with WWD recently. Promoting Nivea and scheduled to grace the stage at the upcoming Fashion Rocks concert (recent post here) in Manhattan tomorrow night, the beauty gives readers a glimpse into her soulful, seductive side. Excerpts below:

... In her native Britain, Welsh-born singer Duffy is fast becoming known for bringing a soulful, retro sound loaded with impassioned, lovelorn lyrics to the country’s music scene. When she released her Northern Soul-inflected single “Mercy” — a fusion of horns, strings and tinkling percussion — in February, that single and her subsequent album, “Rockferry,” shot to the top of the U.K.’s music charts. “Rockferry” later hit number four on the U.S. Billboard chart.

And appropriately for an artist who’s made an equally strong statement with her blonde, back-combed hair and monochrome duds, the singer will round off her U.S. tour experience by playing Fashion Rocks. Duffy won’t yet reveal which of her numbers she’ll unleash on the audience. “I’m doing one track, but we don’t know what we’re going to do yet, it’s not set in stone,“ she says.

And while the singer’s style and sound — along with her moniker, which she takes from her surname — have led to comparisons with one of Britain’s most famous soul exports, Dusty Springfield, Duffy insists that her image is all her own. “I know what I do and do not like. I don’t think clothes should define you, I think they should just enhance your character. I sort of apply that rule to what I do,” she says. “I’ve always loved...vintage, I’m really into the Forties and Fifties, that’s my favorite era, so stylish and cut really well, and it’s kind of very feminine.”

For the singer’s Fashion Rocks performance, she’ll appear as a brand ambassador for Nivea, for which she’s appeared in a series of print ads to mark the concert. Later, some of her tracks will also appear in Nivea television spots.

And belying her thus-far brief moment in the spotlight, she says she’s already au fait with the mugging for the camera that being a spokeswoman demands. “In the beginning, there’s a part of you that thinks, ‘This wasn’t what I thought it was all about,’ you know, but [now] I think that it’s just good fun,” she says. “At the beginning, I used to be really afraid of the camera, but I think what I just realized is that it’s the eyes of the public, just a way of people getting to see me. It wasn’t as though anyone had a gun to my head — [though] you would have thought that at the beginning, that’s how scared I was.”

But despite notching up a beauty campaign relatively early on in her career, she doesn’t plan to roll out her own clothing or cosmetics line just yet. “I would never say never, because you never know, if it was for a good cause,” she says. “But right now I’ve got my hands full, I’m really enjoying the music part of it, I’m not really thinking about branching off or anything. I just feel as though I’m at Day One with everything, really.”

~ Excerpts taken from WWD, Nina Jones

source: WWD

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