IF YOU think wearing high heels to work is a grind, try tramping around stage at the Viper Room in stilettos with a guitar strapped to your back. But spiky shoes -- along with skinny jeans and loads of black eyeliner -- are part of what defines the slinky, dark-glam look of new L.A. band Uh Huh Her.
"People are totally astonished that I can play bass in heels," says Camila Grey, lead vocalist for the electro-indie duo, which she co-founded with singer and keyboard player Leisha Hailey -- the elfin blond actress who costars in the Showtime series "The L Word," about fashion-savvy lesbians living in L.A.
Hailey's day job (she films in Vancouver, Canada, five months a year) means the pair already had a huge following before their first album, "Common Reaction," was launched late last month; recent L.A. shows have been wall-to-wall with chic female fans. "This trick is to keep them," Hailey noted.
But the sweet-faced duo are winning over new devotees -- even of the male variety -- with their vocal-heavy '80s-inspired sound and edgy style. Though both have done time in low-fi indie-rock bands (Hailey in the Murmaids and Grey in Mellowdrone), their current fashion choices are decidedly more amped. Tight jeans, primary colors and thigh-high skirts are all part of their fashion repertoire.
They've had some help along the way -- local stylist Alicia Lawhon outfitted the pair in colored tights and glam, silvery tops for the CDs first video, "Not a Love Song," and rock style guru Arianne Phillips (who styles Madonna, among others) decked out the duo in cutesy, vintage-feeling dresses and bobby socks paired with high-heels for the album jacket.
The pair filled us in on what rocks their world in fashion and beyond:
How would you describe each other's style?
Hailey: Cam always dresses in black and heels and tight black jeans and tank tops and a black trench coat.
Grey: Leisha's really girlie -- skirts and heels.
What do you like to wear onstage?
Grey: I like the glam look -- skinny jeans and heels and sparkles. I also like black eyeliner and pencil skirts.
Hailey: I try to find things that I can throw in my suitcase! I like short skirts, definitely high heels and something bright on top. Also a really great necklace or a pair of earrings. But actually earrings can slap me in the face.
What's a typical daily outfit for you in L.A.?
Grey: Skinny jeans with Marc Jacobs mouse flats or Converse.
Hailey: Cowboy boots and colors.
What musicians -- present or past -- do you think have great style?
Grey: I know people say things about Björk, but I love anyone who has their own vision and isn't afraid to be as weird as they want to be.
Hailey: I have to say, I think Axl Rose had something back in the day. He wore spandex bike shorts and he was hot. How . . . did he do that?
What do you wear over and over again?
Hailey: I have a collection of Free City things that's insane. I also have a new wool pea coat that I'm wearing in Vancouver that I love by Isabel Marant. I just discovered her and she's amazing.
Grey: I'm always in James Perse T-shirts -- especially the white V-neck ones.
Who are some of your favorite designers?
Grey: Zac Posen. His fall collection is insanely gorgeous. And I want Diane von Furstenberg to make me a cool dress with a cape or something.
Hailey: Rick Owens. Also, I would love to be in head-to-toe Miu Miu. It's colorful and girlie and fantasy -- all the things I love.
What's your indispensable beauty item?
Grey: I love Aveda's hair smoother. I got Leisha hooked on it too.
Hailey: Dr. Hauschka Skin Care. I feel like I smell good when I use it.
What's been your handbag lately?
Grey: A tiny Marc by Marc Jacobs black shoulder bag with a long skinny strap -- because Leisha says my bags are too big.
Hailey: Her bags are too big. I've been carrying a satin purple YSL bag with a big bow on the front lately.
Grey: Black Ray-Bans.
Hailey: Vintage ones -- I like them big, but not mom-picking-kids-up-from-school big.
Where do you like to shop in L.A.?
Hailey: I like thrift stores. I'll hit Jet Rag because I feel like they always have a pretty good selection. Also, The Way We Wore and Satine.
Grey: I love Some Odd Rubies on 3rd Street -- they do these really amazing vintage reconstructionist pieces.
What are some of your fave places to eat?
Hailey: We both love the Hungry Cat. I also like Ammo and maybe my favorite place is the Elf Cafe in Echo Park. It doesn't have a sign, but if you can find it, it's unbelievably good.
Do you get facials and massages?
Hailey: I'm a facial addict. I go to Lida or Elena at Thibiant [ Beverly Hills]. They've done it for so long, they're just experts. And I like the massages at Brooks Baths on Beverly Boulevard. It's divey, but there are giant Russian men and it's less than $100.
Do you make it out to the bars or clubs?
Grey: There's this divey bar called the Pineapple Hill Saloon in Van Nuys [near her Sherman Oaks home]. They give you popcorn when you walk in -- it's really surreal. In Atwater Village, I like the Bigfoot Lodge, and in Silver Lake I like that funny German bar, the Red Lion [Tavern]. The guy who plays piano lets me sing sometimes.