Cults‘ debut album, Cults, was a bittersweet update of the mascara-stained Fifties-prom-melodrama that bands like the Jesus and Mary Chain and Strawberry Switchblade perverted so well in the Eighties. Frontwoman Madeline Follin hase already become a talking point on New York-based fashion blogs; it turns out designer Phillip Lim is also a fan. Cults will be playing his Fashion’s Night Out event at his Los Angeles flagship store tonight.
In the wake of her fashionable live debut, Rolling Stone delved a little deeper into Follin’s beauty process and how she ensures her band members’ stage aesthetics — and their personal closets —keep their cool retro edge.
Will you be wearing Phillip’s clothes for the performance?
I will! I usually stick to dresses on stage so I’ll be sporting a dress of some sort from his collection.
How do Cults define their visuals? Your music has certain connotations of past eras to it — do you dress accordingly?
With our visuals, we’ve stayed pretty consistent. The album cover and the 7-inches all use the same imagery with the black and white tones. On stage we’ve been using some of our favorite old noir films. Our clothes are definitely influenced by some of our favorite characters in some of these old films from the Fifties and Sixties. I’d say Brian pulls off the more “cult” look than I do.
You’ve said you love Kim Gordon’s style. What draws you to it?
I love Sonic Youth. I always idolized her growing up. She also always wears dresses on stage.
Who are some other unique style influences?
What are some of your favorite looks to wear onstage?
I usually stick to the basics: black tights, Mary Janes, mini dress and some red lipstick. It makes for easy packing on tour.
How do you define your personal style?
I’d say it’s “grunge meets Sixties school girl.” I grew up in New York’s East Village and lived a bit in San Francisco and also in San Diego. My style is a combination of my time spent in all those places.
Where do you like to vintage shop?
In New York, I hit a few stops in the East Village (that are a secret!). In San Francisco, I love Held Over on Haight Street.
Will you be following Fashion Week closely?
I won’t because I’ll be on tour. But I love what Opening Ceremony is doing so I’ll be excited to see what they have coming!
Have you had to change your beauty process for touring purposes or are you low-maintenance?
When you are on the road with five guys, you have to be quick. Luckily, I’ve kept my look simple. It’s worked out for all of us. Nail strips and make-up remover wipes always save the day.
What can we expect next from Cults?
We’ll be on tour through the end of the year. We hope to start writing some new songs this winter! So stay tuned.
Cults plays 3.1 Phillip Lim’s Fashion’s Night Out at his Los Angeles flagship tonight. 631 North Robertson Boulevard, West Hollywood, California. You can also catch them on tour this fall.