Florence Welch's moody and haunting voice is what first propelled her to stardom, but it's her eclectic fashion sense that often makes the most headlines. Earlier this month, all eyes were on the British beauty as she glided down the red carpet at the Met Gala in an arresting Alexander McQueen dress, which had tiers of organza, silvery tassels, and a sheer material exposing her chest area. At 25, she's become a muse to many designers, sitting front row in fashion shows and palling around with the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, who asked her to close Chanel's spring 2012 show, with a song.
"I ended up scrapbooking with Karl!" Welch tells Marie Claire about her newly developed friendship with the sunglasses-loving designer. "We were discussing Art Deco painters, and suddenly he started ripping things out of books in his library and sticking things together with Pritt Stick glue."
As for her attention-grabbing ensembles, wearing them excites her. "I've got a teenager's sense of romanticism," she says. "Like when you're 15 and you think: Oh, I could just die!" In fact, she doesn't think she's suited for casual clothes. "My face isn't right for them," she tells the magazine. What is right for her? Her now-signature red tresses. "I'm a lifer now," the one-time brunette says of her vibrant hair color. "I've tried going back to brown, but I don't recognize myself."
Nearly four years after her band, Florence and the Machine, debuted its first album, Lungs, she's grown personally and professionally. "In the beginning I was a lot younger, drunker, and more glib," says Welch, who no longer drinks on tour and once accidentally set her hotel room on fire because she was so intoxicated. "I've learned not to hide behind a veil of irony — to talk about my work in a more honest way."
Welch has said that her songwriting talents can be sourced back to her art historian mother, who helped her develop the ability to be descriptive, but she draws on everyday experience when making music. "I'm completely in love with the world but also terrified of it," she says. "It creates some overwhelming feelings. Wanting to battle out that joy and fear is part of my music."
Read more of Welch's interview in the June issue of Marie Claire.
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