home / interviews
Us magazine (US)
January 2000 (#264)
Long Live Frock
Music stars sound off on how they fashion their hit-making looks.
by Ray Rogers
photography by Dah Len
From a fashion standpoint, who has inspired you the most?
Anne Boleyn, who was Queen Elizabeth I's mother. She was French and had her head cut off. She was a true individual, and yet there was a classicness to her look, nothing too desperate. She wasn't afraid to stir up the imagination, which is always good. I also liked Barbara Stanwyck's look early in her career. She was a great dresser because she was a more intelligent kind of turn-on.
What clothes are you most comfortable in?
I love being in a skirt and boots. It goes back to the librarian-principal look. I like the idea of carrying books around in a skirt.
How does your look onstage differ from your look at home?
I'm into knits when I'm home. To play onstage, I have to be put into a shield, some kind of contained thing. If I performed in a knit sweater, my playing would be sloppy. I always play in heels; it gives me more support.
What's the coolest outfit you've worn onstage?
The band bought me this full leopard suit with ears and a tail. I wore it one night onstage. My crew needed cheering up, so I went out in it for the encore. Nothing I wore that night was very flashy, so the paradox of it worked.
What's the dorkiest outfit you've ever worn onstage?
Dorky is very subjective. When I used to play piano bars -- like the Marriot's airport-lobby bar in Los Angeles -- there were dress requirements. I was not allowed to wear leather or plastic, which was difficult in the '80s. So to find dresses to play in for happy hour was a tall order. I would change in the back of my Capri -- I drove my Capri because I couldn't afford a mustang -- after work, so my friends couldn't see that I had worn this God-knows-what floral print.
MEN ARE FROM BARNS, WOMEN ARE FROM VENUS: TECHNO-DRESS BY MIU MUU, $750; BRAIDED SCARF BY ATSURO TAYAMA, $308; GLOVES BY LA CRAZIA, $200. AMOS' ALBUM "TO VENUS AND BACK" (ATLANTIC) WAS RELEASED IN SEPTEMBER.
t o r i p h o r i a
the World of Tori Amos