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The Guardian (UK)
May 19, 2020
Tori Amos: 'Once the wig was on, I allowed the character to take over. I
think my husband quite liked it'
The singer on trying not to embarrass her teenage daughter, dressing up for virtual book
signings -- and sending her father a picture of the 90s album cover where she breastfeeds a
As told to Leah Harper
The concept of my  album American Doll Posse was to personify five archetypes of
Greek mythology. This is the outfit I wore as SanaTORIum -- Santa for short. She was
embodying Aphrodite, which I found the most challenging of all five. My stylist Karen
Binns and I worked through the concept that each woman has different percentages of
these archetypes living in them. Some identify more with HisTORIcal, for instance, who
was [embodying] Artemis, or CliTORIdes, being Persephone. This look was the hardest
for me because, as a person, I just don't hold this energy as well as some of the others. It
was really important that the message was correct and that there was a groundedness to
It was a challenge to photograph five women in the time we would usually have to shoot
one, and each character had her own rack of clothes. Looking at this black dress, I was
really shying away from it. Unless I'm performing, I would never wear something like
this, even in a club, but I had met the designer, Hussein Chalayan, and felt really safe
with him. He is a very spiritual being, and I felt he was the right one to help me do this.
Once the wig was on and the makeup was adjusted, I started to allow the character to
slip in and take over. I think my husband quite liked it.
When I became a mother in 2000, it changed everything for me. I started really thinking
very deeply about my image, [including] some of the things that I had done before, like
breastfeeding a pig on [the artwork for 1996 album] Boys for Pele -- although that was
also my Christmas card to my reverend father. It was a statement about accepting the
non-kosher back to the Christian fold, instead of Christians judging people so harshly.
My personal style is ... nothing that would make my teenage daughter uncomfortable.
That is always on my mind. I am more conservative when I'm in my songwriter self than
when I'm out performing. I have a home in Cornwall, but I have part of my life in
America because my family is there. When I go to Florida, where my dad still lives, I'm
pushing more of a London look than the Floridians. During the lockdown, I have been
doing virtual book signings -- but I'm terrible at doing my own hair so I've decided to
just wig up, like the girls from American Doll Posse.
t o r i p h o r i a
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