She's the British singer-songwriter who's taken the music scene by storm with her distinctive voice, and turned the fashion industry on its head with her theatrical (often eccentric, but always immaculate) style sense. Currently working on her much-awaited second album, with an exciting tour in the pipeline and a rather sophisticated project with Tia Maria on the go - the girl's keeping busy. We caught up with Paloma to get the scoop on her stylish life.
Well I'm still renting, so I'm trying to save up - you have to save like an absolute slave to be able to buy anywhere in London. Everyone thinks I'm a millionaire, just because people lend me clothes and give me nice drinks. I live in a rented flat so I feel a bit transient all the time, because I know I'm eventually going to buy somewhere - so I've just got clothing rails. But I've got so many - I have it all put in rainbow order so that I can find things. So if I think "Oh I really want to wear that red dress" I just go and look in the red section!
Are all your accessories equally as organised?
My shoes take up half of my living room floor space! I've got people who live upstairs, and they always want to take pictures of my shoes when they walk in. It's like an art installation!
You're renowned for your vintage style, what is it that attracts you to clothes of eras past?
I initially started dressing in vintage clothes because after puberty hit, I was quite curvy - all bums and thighs. So I looked up on the internet and read up in books on people who had a similar figure to me, and I found that it was quite celebrated in the 40s and 50s to have that sort of curvy shape - so from there I started looking out for those clothes, rather than just worrying about what was in fashion.
But now, vintage shopping is quite stylish anyway - you're clearly a trend setter!
Now obviously yes, it is anyway, but I think it's because of people like me who did it first. We helped it to come back around into fashion. I just think you have to make the best out of what you've got, not beat yourself up over trying to fit into whatever happens to be 'in' at the moment.
Which style of clothes make you feel your most confident?
Waist-cinching things. I've got quite a little waist so I feel I should accentuate that. And I like things to be below my knee. I don't do short skirts. You just have to know your own figure. I go to a lot of vintage shops because 40s and 50s shapes really flatter me. But body shapes that are the other way round - so people with bigger torsos and thinner legs - I think look good in 60s and 30s clothes. It doesn't matter how much fat you've got, if you've got an hourglass figure or whatever, 40s and 50s style clothes suit everyone because any shape was celebrated during those eras.
Other than vintage boutiques then, where do you like to shop?
I'm a bit of a high street person too - I love River Island, Topshop, New Look and H&M.
Is there anyone in the media or public eye who inspires you, stylishly speaking?
I haven't managed to get into the actual show yet, but I love the clothes on Mad Men. So many people love it. I'd like a guest role - that'd be nice!
More and more girls seem to be rejecting the WAG stereotype these days, so what tips would you give to girls who are seeking to achieve a more sophisticated style?
I think that you should just dress in a way that you feel comfortable, and that in itself will then look sophisticated. If that is your style anyway, then great. But what happened with the whole WAG culture, was that it was really forced down our throats by the media. You have to try and be true to yourself, and dress in the way that is right for you.
I was asked to help with Tia Maria's new campaign because they were looking for someone to be the face of the brand, who represents sophistication - they were looking for a classy, ladylike image, but mixed with fun and playfulness. So I think they thought I was the right person to help them find someone.
With photographers waiting to snap you at every turn, how do you deal with having to be constantly camera-ready?
I don't know how it happens so often to some celebs, maybe they tip the paparazzi off, I don't know. But I've only ever had the paparazzi in a situation where I didn't want them was when I tweeted that I was coming home at the airport – and I've never done it again since. And I often want to talk about the airport when I'm in the airport, or Tweet about it. But I don't know. Because last time I did that there were six paps waiting, and I was relatively new to it all. I had a hoodie on!
Do you ever have dress down days?
Off course I'm happy to have off days, but I try to keep them away from the paparazzi. The main reason for that is that sometimes I like not to be recognised – I like it to be my escape. So I try and keep it private. Because as soon as your printed looking like that, then you'll be recognised when you look like that.
How do you get ready for bikini season?
I've had laser hair-removal treatment - it's amazing. It's so good, but it bloody hurts! It's permanent hair removal which is great, but the treatment is the most pain I've ever felt.
Do what about keeping fit? Do you do a lot of exercise?
I go running, but that's only because I get out of breath at gigs in-between songs if I don't. As my career has grown, the stages have got bigger, and I'm noticing how unfit I am! I have to move around from one end to the other to see the whole audience. So I run to keep myself fit. I certainly don't have the perfect body and I'm also not willing to do what I have to do to get it!
Would you ever consider plastic surgery?
Never. I think it's quite sad. I've had quite a lot of illness in my family - relatives have had cancer and the likes, so seeing what they have to go those situations with no choice, it just makes you think that it's important to make the best out of what you've got. When I was a teenager I used to moan to my mum, "oh I hate my thighs, my thighs are so big," but now I realise, that actually gentlemen quite like big thighs. But my mum always used to remind me that I'm always going to look like this. It doesn't matter how much I diet, my thighs are always going to look slightly out of proportion to my waist. So I have to accept it, rather than kill myself over it.
Paloma Faith is helping Tia Maria find the face of their new ad campaign. For more information and to enter the 'Behind the Mask' competition go to www.facebook.com/tiamariadrink
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