You might find it hard to believe that any of the porcelain beauties above have any traces of country girl in them. However, Hailey Tuck (front and center) was born and raised in Texas before hopping the pond to pursue her music career—and a seriously stylish Parisian look thanks to her refined eye for vintage finds. This week, the Austin native returned to her hometown for SXSW. The soulful jazz singer, who performed at the music festival last night, gave us a look at her unique sound and complementary wardrobe.
Does your music have any country influence? "I think country influence may be the one influence I’m currently lacking. I grew up listening to some old-school country, just being surrounded by it, but I think if anything I’d be more inclined to bring hip hop into 1920s jazz. I can two-step!"
Who are your style icons? "The first time I moved to Paris, I had read Louise Brooks’ autobiography and cut my off my hair, basically exactly like she had done—it was so inspiring to me. I know everyone says this, but I adore Audrey Hepburn. I love her lines. The other one would be Kiki de Montparnesse, who even in her later years and her decline she would stick through the fashions. She would find pieces of lace and pin it on her dress as a vestige to what she once was."
You have a very distinct aesthetic. How would you describe your personal style? "I dress up everyday. I have so many vintage dresses from so many eras as well as really contemporary clothes. Sometimes I feel like I want to be a crazy Sicilian widow or star in a Fellini film and wear some crazy hats. We have a joke that a lot of the stuff I love from the 1920s is so innocent-looking that I look like an underage girl in a bordello wearing it. I definitely pick out an outfit every single day with a specific intent in mind, but I wear whatever I’m feeling for the day."
We've spotted you at London Fashion Week a number of times. Do you have any favorite shows? "I’m not as well-versed in who’s hot in fashion. I have the old classics like Galliano 2007 that I’m obsessed with, but mostly I go to shows that my friends are involved in. I love brands like HEMYCA who are doing really contemporary things with their shows—they have musicians or films playing, 3D animation as models, various things like that. I really love to go to shows that mix the classic idea of what a fashion show should be with something contemporary, which is what I try to do in my music as well."
Does your beauty routine differ on and off stage? "No, definitely not. I have a pretty boring look—it’s always the same. I’ve been wearing MAC Russian Red [$16] for about 10 years. I sweep that on everyday with a little bit of mascara, and that’s about it. I went through a phase where I really loved that porcelain look. I’m already very pale, and now these days stemming from that and learning about taking care of my skin better, now I just slather on sunscreen everyday."
How does your wardrobe differ on and off stage? "When I shop, I don’t necessarily think, ‘Is this great for stage?' When I'm shopping for vintage, I think as a collector: 'Is this something that’s interesting to me, interesting to look at and unique?' I’ve now been collecting for 10 to 11 years. I hoard [pieces] away until suddenly I have a show or performance, and then remember I’ve got that great, crazy dress that I bought years ago that I’d love to wear. There’s some things that I buy, cut pieces off of and sew onto other things. That becomes really show-specific too. I definitely love to wear different things for a show, but I don’t go shopping for it. I [just] start digging around in my closet."
What are some of your vintage shopping tips? “If you don’t have a really specific style or idea of what you like to wear, either have somebody in mind or at least some sort of a look in mind. That’s what I do. I think it’s good to just go out and know exactly what you want to feel like when you put on that dress and who you want to be."
Keep an eye out for Tuck's new EP, "Delancey Street," which releases March 31st.