Taylor Momsen was hand-picked by Madonna to be the face and muse of Material Girl, the juniors label that will launch at 200 Macy’s stores next week. The line is partly designed by Madonna’s 13-year-old daughter, Lourdes Leon, but it’s Momsen who appears in the line’s advertising campaign and who will make an appearance at Herald Square on Aug. 3 for a kick-off event. There, she’ll perform an acoustic set with her band, The Pretty Reckless.
Momsen, who turned 17 on Monday, is the youngest of the “Gossip Girl” starlets. Currently performing on the Vans Warped Tour, she recently fired her stylist and has been making waves with her own wild-child fashion choices — such as the garters-and-raccoon-eyes ensembles that have drawn comparisons to the Courtney Love of yore.
Raised partly in St. Louis, Momsen may have been destined for her Material Girl role: she attended Roman Catholic school there at Our Lady of Lourdes.
On Tuesday, WWD talked to Momsen about the Material Girl gig, working with Madonna and how she developed her own style.
WWD: Where are you calling from?
Taylor Momsen: I’m in Nashville on tour. It’s the first day off we’ve had in eight days. So far, so good. It’s been hot. We played in Atlanta yesterday and it was scorching.
WWD: What was your reaction to being chosen as the face of Material Girl and what does that role entail?
T.M.: I was ecstatic to be asked. It’s such an honor. It’s Madonna. I was kind of shocked. She’s amazing. The role entails doing the launch of the line on Aug. 3 at Herald Square. And I’ll be tweeting and talking about the line. We did a photo shoot for the first pieces of the collection. It’s a really great line. It’s really cool.
WWD: Were you a fan of Madonna? What songs of hers are your favorites? And what about her influence on fashion?
T.M.: All her songs are so great. They’re so well crafted and really perfect, pure, pop genius. I’m a big fan of “Papa Don’t Preach.” I love that song. But really all of it is fantastic. She was the one who did it all first. She gave people like me an avenue to do what I’m doing. She was the one who started all the controversy to begin with. I’m a big fan of all kinds of vintage looks and altering them and making them modern. I don’t know if I copy anything directly, but I like to mix and match and play around a lot.
WWD: What has it been like working with Madonna on the shoots?
T.M.: We worked on the photo shoot together, and Lourdes was there too. Lourdes and she styled it, along with myself. We collaborated on putting the pieces together and finding the right look for each shot. She was very down to earth. It was nice to see after all her success, she’s still very grounded. It was cool to see her interaction with Lourdes. She’s a cool mom. She shot a couple of the photographs herself at the end. She definitely has a vision and was very hands-on. It was really easy working with her. She’s very comfortable to be around — very professional but a lot of fun. I’m very opinionated, so it was nice to work with someone who has such a direct vision and see how they accomplish that.
WWD: Have any of Madonna’s specific looks or periods inspired your own personal style?
T.M.: Personal style is just that — it has to be personal. There are things that are inspiring and can give you ideas, but I don’t really look at one person or one era. You have to make it unique to yourself. I don’t really emulate anything in particular, I take from all different places.
WWD: Some people have compared your recent looks on tour to Courtney Love. Any thoughts on that?
T.M.: I’ve heard that. I’m just dressing like myself. People will always make comparisons to different people.
WWD: Do you work with anyone now for your own wardrobe or special events?
T.M.: I dress myself. But I also work with a local designer in New York who I’m friends with [named Stephanie Paterek]. We design pieces together. And I go shopping and find things I like.
WWD: Do you feel pressure to look a specific way as a young actress and musician? And how do you deal with critiques in the press about your style?
T.M.: I don’t read the critiques because they’re always going to critique something. I just dress like myself. I don’t really feel any pressure. People are always going to say something about that.
WWD: Have you been wearing any Material Girl pieces on tour?
T.M.: I haven’t gotten any of the pieces yet. I only got to model them so far. Actually I lied — I have been wearing a double-cross ring from the line. I got to steal that from the shoot. But I wasn’t allowed to take any clothes.
WWD: Apart from Material Girl, what other projects are you working on?
T.M.: My record is coming out this summer, it’s called “Light Me Up.” So we’re touring and playing in support of that. I’ll be playing V Fest in England, so that will be exciting. And then coming to New York on Aug. 3 at Macy’s. My record is something that I’ve worked on for a very long time, so it’s definitely the priority for now.
Taking the final spot on the mens’ portion of New York Fashion Week calendar next month will be none other than @tomford. Though he’s shown his men’s wear in New York in the past, this will mark the first time the designer has shown his men’s collection alone during New York Fashion Week: Men’s. His runway show will debut on February 6 at the Park Avenue Armory. #wwdfashion
London-based couture house @ralphandrusso has certainly been in the spotlight, having its dresses worn by @beyonce, Angelina Jolie, Meghan Markle in her engagement photos and more. For couture, Tamara Ralph focused on ornamentation — think: feathers with chain mail, jet embroidery and clusters of pearls and crystals. See the rest of the collection on WWD.com #wwdfashion #couture (📷: @giovanni_giannoni_photo)
Minnie Mouse celebrated her 90th birthday by getting her own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. For her celebratory luncheon, @coach’s creative director @stuartvevers dressed her in a custom made prairie dress, complete with Vever’s take on the polka dot – black sequined versions – under a cropped motorcycle jacket. The designer also put his own mark on Minnie’s classic red shoes, infusing the color with sparkles and adding some Coach crystals. “We chose colors that were very Minnie and also represented quintessential Coach elements,” said Vevers. #wwdfashion #nationalpolkadotday (📷: George Chinsee)
@nickjonas is unveiling his first-ever apparel collection through a partnership with John Varvatos. The limited-edition capsule, which makes its debut in spring, also marks the first time the designer has collaborated with anyone on a line. “The process in working with Nick is amazing. It’s inspiring to be around someone who is not only connected with the trade that they do, but also with what’s happening in the environment around him, and how that connects to what we do with style,” said Varvatos. (RG: @johnvarvatos) #wwdfashion
@margotrobbie steps out onto the red carpet wearing @miumiu. The actress is nominated for “Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role” in “I, Tonya” at the #SagAwards. (📷: Stewart Cook) #wwdfashion
For @massimogiorgetti of @msgm, the Nineties are his favorite decade. “They had a huge impact on my personal growth. What I like of the Nineties is that they are not so precise in terms of style as other decades…there was actually a bit of everything,” he said. As seen on MSGM’s Spring 2018 show: tie-dye and a bit of grunge, two styles that are synonymous with the decade #wwdfashion #wwddecades (📷: @kukukuba)