Friday, three days before the music industry’s biggest night, Italian luxury brand Gucci held a press event at Redbird restaurant to announce that Florence Welch, lead singer of Florence + and the Machine and multiple 2016 Grammy nominee, will serve as its new brand ambassador for timepieces and jewelry.
The 22-minute event, which consisted of Welch being interviewed on stage by British journalist Alexa Chung, had the musician holding forth on a handful of fashion topics -- including the dress she plans to wear on the red carpet Monday evening. Below are a few excerpts:
On wearing jewelry
"[Jewelry] has become so much a part of me that I feel really naked without it."
"I used to wear all these necklaces on stage and I’d keep getting hit in the face. Sometimes I wish I was a more static performer so I could go out wearing these really beautiful, fragile things. But they’d just get completely destroyed. And also, people rip stuff off you. So we’re used to wearing costume jewelry. The really precious stuff you need to leave in the dressing room."
Onstage versus offstage clothes
"When I’m working really hard on a project, like making an album, I can't get dressed. I have to put on the most simple pair of leggings and a black T-shirt, because actually getting dressed up is a form of creative expression, it’s a form of using your imagination, and when I have to make a record I have no other thoughts left. ... If I need to get from [point] A to [point] B without getting noticed I put on full sports gear. No one thinks it’s me at all because they can’t put those two things together. I can hide [that way] if I need to."
On dressing for an album
"A certain look evolves around each album. I really don’t know what that’s going to be when I start making it. ... As I’m making it, this world evolves that I get completely absorbed into it and without really realizing it it starts to dictate quite strongly what I wear and how I hold myself on stage.
“'Lungs' was this really kind of insane [look] -- wearing flowers, glitter and bat wings -- and 'Ceremonials' was quite grand and dark and we were obsessed with Erté and Klimt and everything got bigger and bigger ... so in a way [I made myself] more visible -- my hair went redder and redder and redder and my eyebrows were completely bleached off and the gowns got bigger and bigger and it almost reached the peak of where I could go.
Coming back to this record ["How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful"] I really needed some time to figure out who I was outside for the whirlwind. ... This record felt like I wanted less divide between the onstage and offstage sides of me. So when I got onstage I wanted to be wearing something I’d be wearing offstage."
On rock 'n' roll time
(Welch points to the gold-colored Gucci timepiece on her left wrist) "I hate being late -- it makes me anxious. ... I know it’s more rock 'n' roll to be much later, so I should set this Gucci watch an hour -- or three hours --later."
On her 2016 Grammy Awards outfit
"I’m too nervous and neurotic to decide at the last minute, so, yes, the outfit is already planned out. ... I’m wearing something that is so magical, it's something that [Gucci Creative Director] Alessandro [Michele] designed. Alessandro manages to make things that are so pretty but without ever being too sweet or cloying. It’s the most beautiful and romantic thing but with also a kind of edge to it."