Hautepop: A Hyperpop Fashion Column — March

Welcome back to Hautepop, a style-focused column for the hyperpop and hyperpop related spheres. Missed my last edition? Head here to read about trends, Rosalía’s “SAOKO” music video, and an exclusive interview with pop star and icon Moistbreezy.

This month, we have a double feature with legendary musician and certified fashion diva RYL0. The column is a little longer this week, but we just had so much to say! I promise it’s all good. Stay tuned.

Y2K computer with pictures of RYL0 and Charli XCX

Graphic by Zoe Axelrod.

Charli XCX is booked and busy

Experimental pop icon Charli XCX is currently swept up in a whirlwind of press for her album CRASH. Regrettably, she did not reply to requests for an interview with me. On the bright side, there’s been a myriad of photos from her recent trip to New York for a performance on SNL and a chat with the most annoying of late night hosts, Jimmy Fallon. (Holding out hope that next album cycle she’ll be on Desus and Mero instead.) As a special treat for the #angels and the #RYL0VES, of which I am both, I chatted with verified fashion expert and huge Charli XCX fan: RYL0. Here’s our takes on a few of Charli’s outfits…

(all photos rounded up by @Fckyeahcharli on Twitter)

A: This is her leaving a YSL party. 
R: I think this is a really sleek look. I love a big puffer vibe. I love oversized things with a small bag. We've got knee high boots. We've got “out serving c*nt on the streets.”
A: You gotta keep warm out there! 
R: This was a very realistic look. And it was also super fashion. Like she's definitely walking around knowing that she's a pop star in this outfit, but she's also trying to keep it a little casual.
A: This one's more daytime. This is so cute to me.
R: The tiny bag is really cute, but I've never really understood the phenomenon of the tiny bag because I'm a very practical dresser. I love being like feeling glamorous, but also in the most practical way possible. I just like never could get with the tiny bag thing. Like, what are you carrying there? A phone and your ID? And I guess if you're Charli XCX, that's really all you could need.
A: She's a girl on the go!
R: This one is the winner. I think everyone was just talking about this. And we also can't forget that this was paired with knee-high, like yellow bedazzled boots.
A: It's so so so good.
R: This outfit is not meant to be practical. It's meant purely for spectacle. And she's serving every bit of it. It is the most pop star outfit she's given, cuz she's clearly on her way somewhere. I don't know where she was going in this outfit, but she looks fantastic.
A: I think the real star of this is this blowout - her hair looks incredible
A: Business girl!!
R: This look is very much taking me back to “Sucker.” The lip and the hair together is just really serving “Sucker” Charli. But then the blazer, like she looks like she's on her way to like some kind of international women's conference.
R: This is also a woman who has been in the industry for over 10 years, who is speaking, not only from a place of talent and intuition, but lots of experience. And I feel like that's what this look immediately gives is like, “I'm all business. I know what I'm talking about. Let's talk, Jimmy Fallon.” You know?
A: This is from SNL.
R: LOVE!
R: I think she looks great in this. I think everything, especially in this image, the movement of the fringe with this highly choreographed song - excellent choice. It really accentuates any movement that she would have.
R: This is excellent. “Baby” is a very s**y song. It's about s**, it's about seduction. Especially in this image, it's giving all of that. And then some.

And now, our feature interview with the incredible RYL0

RYL0 is a multitalented Jersey-born and LA-based artist. She’s a sought-after performer on both coasts and across the country with captivating stage energy. She’s a true believer in high fashion and a style icon of her own — below we get into her process for selecting looks, Charli XCX and Kelsey Lu as fashion girls, and dressing sexy for comfort. Read my last chat with RYL0 about her song "On the Run" with Robel Ketema.

Photo courtesy of RYL0.

Allison: What is the relationship between the music make and your personal style?

RYL0: Well, my day-to-day wear is super casual — baggy shirts, baggy sweatshirts, very like formless objects and silhouettes. And that's what I really love in my day to day. So I kind of define it as a difference between Lauren and RYL0, cause for me, I come from like a theater background. So I just love the idea of getting into character and separating the difference between my musical persona and the actual perception of that, versus how I move through the world day to day.

And all the stuff I perform in is like, leather bikini tops and sparkly thongs, haha. So when I'm performing, it makes me feel like I'm doing something different, and it’s very easy to sink into like the headspace of RYL0 and RYL0 can be super sexually explicit, you know?

What goes into your thought process when you're choosing an outfit for a performance or for a video?

For performances, I get really stressed out about it. I think I approach it in the way that a stylist would, if I had one. I'm very interested to see at one point, like working with a stylist, how that would elevate my fashion at all, how that would change what I'm wearing.

But with my resources and my limited palette for fashion taste, I kind of just go for what's sexy without showing everything that I've got on the stage — that will also allow for peak movement. And I consider how things are gonna look on the camera a lot. Will this photograph well, you know? Cause the last thing that I wanna worry about when I'm performing is “how do I look right now?”

I was super into burlesque at the beginning of the summer, before I even had my first show. So I bought this huge burlesque book by Dita Von Teese, Burlesque and the Art of the Teese.

I like to flip through it, just seeing the kinds of outfits that burlesque dancers wear. Because the thing about burlesque is like you wanna tease and you wanna like get pretty much down to the skin without actually showing crack, without actually showing nipples, or any kind of genitalia obviously.

And I'm not a burlesque dancer, so I'm never gonna get down to the nip or anything like that. But [I have] the same kind of approach of like, “How do you make this sexy tease of a dance artful and comedic?” because there are some performances where I have done a full costume change just on-sight.

There's this one show that I was in this yellow sparkly dress, and then I had my friend come on and unzip me on stage to this fishnet bikini outfit. It was honestly ridiculous.

It’s pop burlesque!

It was a very pop burlesque moment! And I feel like if I can figure out a way to hone in on the technicality of that, cuz as I'm learning, doing an onstage costume change requires a lot of preparation to go well. I think that's like what I'm most interested in when I'm approaching fashion, like what's for a performance, what's gonna make me feel most feminine, but what's also gonna make me feel most comfortable in a very athletic way.

Who do you feel like are some of your biggest style or fashion icons or inspirations?

For a while it was Kelsey Lu. I would say that like whoever my musical inspirations are at the time, they're more often than not also my fashion icons. So when I started off in 2019 with RYL0, it was very much Kelsey Lu, and she'd be wearing these crazy experimental fashion garments — I wouldn't even call them clothes, really.

It was very much this elevated editorial, very interesting fashion choices that weren't explicitly sexual. Sometimes she'd be like wearing like a fully sheer top on stage, and it was like full nip, but it still didn't feel sexual. It felt very artful, but I've since moved away from that.

My biggest influence in all ways is Charli XCX. When I have a new influence or inspiration, I kind of just go into a deep dive and observe everything that they do. I think Charli's sense of fashion is really underrated. I think it's definitely a part of her iconography and her branding to find the balance between peak sporty and very, very sexy. And finding the sex appeal between those two things.

I think the bones of what I wear on stage is always kind of based around things that other people have worn.

That way I know it works, you know? I'm always developing what has worked for other people, and working it, so it works for myself in a very specific to me and my body type kind of way. But yeah, I've definitely been super, super influenced by things that Charli has worn.

Closing out...

Next month our guest will be the illustrious Ravenna Golden, who will be releasing her EP Ms. Genius on April 8. Thanks everyone for reading another edition and I'll see you again for the next Hautepop!

Yours,
Allison

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