It’s a searing hot day at the Pomona Fairplex, and Anna Lunoe arrives for her photo shoot wearing a plaid miniskirt, an oversize white T-shirt, round sunglasses and a studded choker. Her hair is wound up in two buns. It’s her signature look, one imitated by the throngs of fans huddled in the pit at her shows who sport the same Princess Lei do and wacky accessories.
“I have literally worn a similar thing for years — either wear a miniskirt with a crop top or I wear a T-shirt. It’s about shapes that make you feel comfortable, then making it feel fun,” she explains.
Fresh off of her tour with Jack Ü (Skrillex and Diplo’s band), Lunoe spent the weekend in the Southern California desert town playing the Hard Summer 2015 festival, where she stood out in the lineup of mostly male, black T-shirt-clad DJs.
For the twentysomething Aussie, fashion is not only a form of expression — it was her entrée into the music world. Lunoe started out as a radio show host in her native Sydney, and first surfaced on the fashion scene as a DJ, spinning at soirées thrown by Chanel, Prada, Fendi and Louis Vuitton and later crafting tracks for their fashion shows. She says she produced those tunes based on each designer’s inspiration for the collection.
“Designers have a really acute idea of whatever it is that they’re trying to do with their clothing, so they want music that really captures that essence in a modern way,” she says, “You want to take their inspiration and you want to move it forward.”
Lunoe’s rise was swift after she moved to Los Angeles in 2012. She collaborated with Touch Sensitive on a single that year called “Real Talk,” and later released her EP “All Out,” which made it onto iTunes Top Five Dance chart.
After that, it didn’t take her long to score invites to festivals like Coachella, Lollapalooza and Hard Summer. She says that while fashion set her on the musical path, it’s no longer her creative muse. In other words, she’s over following trends and hopes to be setting some of her own. “I more wear and represent what feel like cultural moments to me — expressing myself rather than taking it in.”