FKA TWIGS, FASHION, & FRIENDS AT BOSTON'S HOUSE OF BLUES
WRITTEN BY CHRISTIAN JAEGER AND ANDREA WELTZER
DECEMBER 9, 2019
“I have had my heart broken too.”
— Tahliah Debrett Barnett, better known as FKA Twigs
Translating emotions is an incredible skill that art constantly strives towards. To hit the one nerve that lights up just the right synapse and creates just the right image in one’s mind's eye — what else compares? FKA Twigs exists on an entirely other planet, evident in her latest album, Magdalene, and in her world tour.
Walking down Lansdowne Street in Boston’s Fenway neighborhood was an experience in itself. The group, lined up to enter the sold-out venue, varied in so many demographics. Like children at a fair, the giddiness of anticipation left us dizzy. And then there were the people we had been waiting to see.
What is so incredible about fashion experimentation is the uniqueness juxtaposed with the intertextuality of borrowed inspiration: the old, the new, and the down-right coocoo. Yet, it all works — experimentation leads to new inspiration leads to new designs.
Somehow, all other concerts become relegated to the category of regurgitated albums in favor of Twigs’ performance. 2019’s Magdalene was already in a class of its own, and her performance was no different. This was no mere concert; she had created an intricate, full-length show unlike anything the audience had ever experienced before.
Her fashion — switching fits so many times, we lost count — stunned the audience. Every second was mesmerizing as she moved to the intoxicating beats and masterfully-created light and set design in various costumes. Such would include: a black-and-white jester outfit with skinny, black sunglasses; a white blouse and blue shorts covered by a thin, white shall, paired with a white, pillowy hat; a medieval-styled red dress, a white-and-gold blouse, and an antique, blue headscarf; a gold-emblemed bralette and underwear garment; and lastly, a medieval, blue-and-white striped gown.
Her power can best be summed up by the simple flick of a wrist: after minutes of the audience’s cheer, Twigs used a quick hand gesture to successfully silence the crowd. She then brought sound back to the silent room, as her band — invisible at this point, shielded by a curtain — would resume playing at their queue of the crowd’s silence.
Tuesday, November 19th would be an event for fans of the British artist, creator, and superstar: an event to dress, an event to dance, an event to celebrate the work of an inspiration. We — Andrea Wetzler and Christian Jaeger — wanted to meet some of the faces in the crowd. Our findings: fiercely fashionable ladies and gentlemen, all fans and followers of the phenom herself, FKA Twigs.
CJ: What are you wearing, Love?
LA: I am wearing almost-all thrifted items, except for the jewelry, which was gifted to me by my mom and friends. This cross was hers. I love this chain. These hoops were given to me by my sister. This ring was made by a friend — it’s a snake. For clothes, I’m in trousers; they’re wide-pant, black satin. These are some pretty beaten up Dr. Martens. This cheetah print coat is thrifted as well. I grabbed it at a Buffalo Exchange — in Buffalo, New York, actually. Underneath the coat, I’m in a black, leather blazer. This was given to me by my mom, who also loves to thrift.
CJ: Is that how you learned to thrift?
LA: I think so, yeah. And she just likes fashion and clothes.
CJ: Why do you like to thrift?
LA: I think I get more original finds at thrift stores, compared to other stores.
CJ: Why did you decide to wear everything you’re wearing right now?
LA: I’m actually coming from my office job right now, straight to the concert. I work at an art museum downtown. That’s why I’m in the blazer. The coat and all the rest, I threw on to add accessory.
CJ: Lastly, who is FKA Twigs to you?
LA: Oh, she a bad bitch. She makes me want to learn how to pole dance, get out of my shell, and do creative things.
CJ: Tell us what you’re wearing.
NS: I’m wearing this purple coat that I got from Boomerangs. I like to thrift a lot of my pieces. I also made some of my jewelry — some scissor pendants, beads, different stuff. My pants, I made because I’m a fashion design major at Mass Art.
CJ: How about the wig?
NS: It’s a good color and I wanted to try it out
CJ: It really works — all of it: the wig, the eye-shadow, the other garments.
NS: Thank you.
CJ: Why did you wear all of this tonight, for Twigs?
NS: I love ocean-y colors, purples, and cooler tones. I felt that this really fit the vibe.
CJ: And who is FKA Twigs to you?
NS: She is a woman who is in tune with herself and knows what she wants. I feel like I align with that message. She also seems very introspective, just like myself.
CJ: Lastly, what song are you most excited to hear tonight?
NS: “Mary Magdalene.”
CJ: Tell us what you’re wearing.
ST: Ugh, what I’m wearing! First of all, this jacket was from my tenure at Urban Outfitters. I got it really cheap because I worked there. And it’s also my fun, bitch jacket. I wear it on special occasions or when I’m feeling, you know, fun. I’m wearing my work boots. I think they look funny with the jacket, and they’re also comfortable. I’m also wearing my Luna Penthouse shirt because I think the shirt A) looks good on me and B) is my favorite Luna album. And then, I wore all three makeup products that I own on my face, because I thought it would look neat.
CJ: You also have some star “tattoos” on your face.
ST: Yes. And I actually have a real star tattoo on my earlobe that my friend did two summers ago.
CJ: And your hair — it’s sick.
ST: Thank you! It’s really, really grown out, bleached hair. I deserve to be blonde. I am blonde, even though my roots are showing! I think it looks cool and kind of punk, so I’m going with it.
CJ: What are you wearing, Griphen?
GA: I’m wearing some oversized black trousers, a tank-top with sheer, peplum sleeves, a vinyl jacket, and some jewelry.
CJ: And your makeup?
GA: I threw this all together at the T.J. Maxx on Newbury St.
CJ: No way.
GA: Yeah, I’m visiting right now. I’m from New York. I came down to see friends and go to the show.
CJ: Why did you decide to wear what you’re wearing to this event?
GA: I feel like Twigs is an inspiration in so many ways. I personally wanted to wear a lot of black tonight, because it just makes me feel powerful. These clothes are also super comfortable together. I just wanted something different and cool — something that feels like the music.
CJ: What does the music feel like to you?
GA: Super intimate, raw, experimental, pushing boundaries, and embracing your true emotions.
CJ: What are you wearing, Timmy?
TM: I am also wearing a full outfit, I’ve realized, from my tenure at Urban Outfitters — head to toe, top to bottom, inside and out. My shoes: they’re Nikes, from the “Have a Nike Day” collection. They’re with Adidas socks — mixing it up, you know? Uh, some pink camo pants. A white turtleneck, long sleeve. A print jacket, and some gloves.
CJ: And your face — the makeup?
TM: For the makeup, I was trying to do a 1920s look, with some sparkles and glitter. Lots of Urban Decay, “Heavy Metal Glitter Gel.”
CJ: And the lipstick?
TM: That’s some Fenty sample I got, like two years ago.
CJ: What made you decide to put all these things together?
TM: The texture of the pants made me feel like they were close enough to a kind of dress-pant. With the slick hair and makeup, I was going for the [1920s]. It’s kind of dressy, but then the print is very loud. I’m trying to give classy, with a twist.
CJ: And why for this concert? What about this artist made you choose this outfit?
TM: I Googled FKA Twigs’s makeup for some inspiration. She’s very into big eyes and baby hairs. And that reminds me a lot of the twenties — gelled-down baby hairs, very much like Betty Boop. Dramatic, sad, fierce.
CJ: Danny, what are you wearing?
DL: This old, beat-up cardigan from John Varvatos, when I worked there. Some necklaces: I got this one from England, the first time I went. I don’t know — just stuff I’ve picked up. I got these rings from a store called The Great Frog, in New York. There’s a store on Newbury Street called Rick Walker’s, where I got some of those too.
CJ: And why are you wearing all of this to FKA Twigs?
DL: I don’t really think about it too much. I just throw stuff on — whatever feels right, I don’t know.
CJ: How long have you followed this artist, and what does it mean to see her perform live?
DL: This’ll be the second time I’ve seen her live. I’d say I’ve been following her for about 8 years. She’s one of my favorites, so I’m really excited.
CJ: What are you wearing, Avaloi?
AA: I am wearing a lot of vintage. This coat’s vintage. A lot of my stuff is second-hand too, so I can’t even tell you the brands of some of the things I’m wearing. This is jewelry worn by the Pashtun people — a nomadic tribe that lives between Afghanistan and Pakistan. Also, Berbers in Morocco and Northern Africa wear very similar jewelry as well. The Hmong people — also ornate, silver jewelry.
CJ: So, vintage thrifting — is that important to you?
AA: Yes. Second-hand is very important to me. I’d say 97 percent of my wardrobe, at this point, is now second-hand. A good 85 percent of that is anywhere from 20 to 60 years old. So, a lot of vintage and antique clothes.
CJ: I have to ask about the dress.
AA: This is Tuareg, another nomadic tribe in Africa.
CJ: Incredible. And the coat?
AA: Ah, yes. Also vintage. I think I got this at Savers. Every once in a while you get that lucky.
CJ: What did you think when you were putting this outfit together for tonight?
AA: Oh, I’m channeling the sorceress, a thousand percent.
CJ: And what does FKA Twigs mean to you?
AA: She’s another sorceress. She’s awesome. She makes amazing, heartfelt music, and she’s the shit.