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Gucci has always been in the mix in Los Angeles on Grammy weekend, hosting the Roc Nation brunch or private-listening parties with the Recording Academy in years past. On Friday, the brand stepped it up by revealing that Grammy-nominated singer Florence Welch is its new timepieces and jewelry ambassador. The news was presented as a conversation moderated by Alexa Chung at Redbird restaurant downtown.
The relationship between Welch and the house isn’t new. When Frida Giannini was creative director, she designed Welch’s costumes for the 2011 Florence + the Machine tour and Welch performed at the LACMA Art + Film gala.
Welch describes their first meeting last year as a tale of fashion kismet. “We were then supposed to meet, but I went to his hotel and he went to mine and we actually passed each other on the street and checked each other’s outfits out before we officially met,” she said. “He wanted to know the whole story behind the record.”
Welch said she was working a “psychedelic granny influence” at the time, adding, “When you listen to music it does create images in your head.”
She is a jewelry fanatic, noting, “If I step out and I’m not wearing rings I feel a bit weird.” However, she stops short of wearing big or expensive pieces on stage. “I would try and wear necklaces on stage and I would just keep getting hit in the face. Sometimes I wish I was a more static performer so I could go out in really fragile beautiful things, but they just get completely destroyed.”
The singer, who with her band is nominated for Best Pop Vocal Album for “How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful”; Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for “Ship to Wreck”; and Best Rock Performance and Best Rock Song for “What Kind of Man,” also revealed that she will be wearing a custom-made Gucci gown to the award ceremony on Monday.
“I’ll be wearing something that is so magical. Alessandro manages to make things so pretty without ever being too sweet or cloying. I also love the attention to detail. You can imagine that every piece of clothing has five intertwining stories to it.”
When Chung asked, “Is that red-carpet gauntlet something that fears you out?” Welch replied, “There’s something about being static and just standing there that I’m less confident about. It doesn’t come naturally. Everyone’s yelling and the camera is going off….How do people not look scared?”
Of the Gucci Timepieces watch she was sporting with her yellow brocade spring suit and high-heeled clogs, she said, “I really hate being late. I’m quite responsible. I know it’s more rock ’n’ roll to be late and I should use this watch to make sure that I’m an hour late.”
Chung, no slouch in the wardrobe department herself, remarked, “I can’t imagine you sitting in a Pokemon onesie just chilling out.”
Welch laughed and responded, “It has happened. When I am working on an album I have to put on the most simple pair of leggings or black T-shirt and just go to studio, because I like to put a lot of thought into getting dressed and when I have to make a record I have no other thought.” She then added, “I do feel quite vulnerable in a T-shirt.”