It is a Monday evening and I am at home when my phone rings. It is Katy Perry from Rio de Janeiro where she is currently on her Prismatic World Tour 2015. A lovely chat about fashion, style and her collaboration with H&M for Christmas!
Katy Perry is one of the highest paid celebrities in the world and was the first artist to surpass 75 million digital downloads, and the only female singer to have five Billboards no1s from the same album (California Gurls, Teenage Dream, Firework, E.T. and Last Friday Night). The 31-year-old has the most Twitter followers as a single person with over 78 million and 33 million Instagram fans. This holiday season, the pop sensation, who writes most of her songs herself, has teamed up with H&M for a collection that offers all you can dream of for the Christmas season.
How were you involved in the creative process of the collaboration with H&M?
Cozy and cool are the key words. H&M approached me to be the face and represent the holidays for them. I wasn’t involved in the design process but I put the actual looks together.
For me it was an easy decision as I am so into all of the fall holidays, such as Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas.
It felt also very authentic to me because at the age of 13/14/15 I was starting my own style and I was always mixing H&M with my vintage clothes.
What is your favourite piece of the collection and why?
I actually have three. First I love the «elfie selfie» sweater, it is a funny, great piece with lots of embellishments and shows the outline of an elf.
Then there is a beautiful well-fitted black suit jacket that has sleeves like a kimono and the red dress that I wore for one of the shots with black dangling earrings. I have this latin flair in the photo which I like.
You are definitely no wallflower when it comes to fashion and trends. It seems like you truly enjoy dressing up. You are always catching eyes. Was your style always that eccentric? How did it evolve?
For me it is either dressing all the way up or a black and white tracksuit. It is never inbetween. It is a hundred percent or zero percent. In my teenage years or even in my twenties, I had always been very colourful and looked like in a cartoon. I never wore black as this is very boring to me. Lately, I started to wear a little black like black leather pants.
How do you dress when you are at home?
At home, I like being casual. I wear a tracksuit or my Calvin Klein top and bottom. But I always wear a lot of different stuff when I go out. I take a lot of chances not to be nominated for the best dressed lists but I like to have fun.
What does fashion mean to you?
It is just another way to express my creativity and how I feel about myself. So many times, I am out in public to do something but I don’t get to meet people. I don’t get to shake everybody’s hand, but fashion is a way to present myself. What I wear gives everyone a feeling of how I feel that day. Sometimes it is fun, sometimes it is flirty but ninety percent of the time my outfit has a sense of humour.
What is favourite piece of clothing in your closet and why?
Not a favourite piece but I find that really nice jewellery never goes out of style. I have a big wardrobe and I go through it maybe twice a year and pull out all the stuff that doesn’t make sense to me anymore but I my jewellery tends to stand the test of time.
Three pieces of clothes or accessories every woman should own?
A nice pair of diamond earrings and they don’t have to be real. A little sparkle close to your face always highlights your face. A nice corset underwear. One of those pieces with a bra and undies that shapes your waist and a timeless black jacket that can go on for ten years.
Do you have a style icon? Somebody whom you admire for her or his looks? If yes, who and why.
Yes, I do. Two people come to my mind. I like Chloë Sevigny, the American actress, she can go in between, very chic and very hipster. Grunge, a little bit of 70s, she tries a lot of different things.
And my friend Rihanna. It is so fun to see her walk out of her hotel room in something that you never thought it could be wearable and she pulls it of so well without trying too hard.
You have changed your hair colour so many times. How do you keep your hair looking healthy despite all the colour treatments?
Whenever I die it, I will take a long time to get to the new colour. I would never go overnight! I play with a lot of a wigs that make it look like I am dying my hair all the time. I also trim my hair a lot along the way and luckily I am able to work a lot with super professionals.
Do you have a personal stylist? If yes, how do you work together. If not, how do you choose and get your looks?
I work with a couple different stylists for different themes. For the H&M campaign for example together with B. Åkerlund, Jonas Åkerlund’s wife, who shot the commercial. They are a team. She helped style it and was extremely creative. She is very costumy and knows how to put an outfit together. She is larger than life and works with the likes of Beyoncé and Madonna.
How would you describe your personal style?
It is all about having fun and expressing myself, not about playing a political fashion game. I don’t play by the rules, I don’t care if I make it to the best dressed list. If I feel my best, that is the list I want to make!
Thank you, Katy, for this very refreshing interview!
I still cannot believe that Katy Perry called me at home on a Monday night… this is just too cool!
The Katy Perry x H&M Christmas collection is in stores now.
Photos: Courtesy of H&M
This interview is now also available in German and French in the recent L’Officiel Switzerland issues!