With her skinny jeans, Converse sneakers and disheveled platinum blonde hair, Micky Green seems more suited to trawling vintage markets than shopping on Rue Cambon.
Nevertheless, the budding songstress was the toast of the most recent Paris Fashion Week, even making an appearance at the Chanel show and posing for photographers flanked by Karl Lagerfeld and Kanye West. “It was totally surreal,” she recalls in her singsong Australian accent. “I was squeezed between the two for the photo, so I said to Karl, ‘The master in the middle,’ and he replied, ‘Oh no, the blonde.’”
Green’s sultry, soulful debut album, released in Paris in August and titled White T-shirt, belies a youth spent in sunny Down Under. Her melodies, which are punctuated with moody humming, snapping and clapping, suggest hours spent in gin joints or in the scarcely furnished and unheated apartment where she now lives in Paris. The well-received recording catapulted her into front-row status at fashion shows, and Vanessa Bruno invited her to croon at her runway presentation.
But Green, aka Michaela Gehrmann, is not letting her surging popularity go to her head. “Honestly, [Lagerfeld] didn’t know who I was—all blondes look alike, you know,” she demurs.
Green’s ease around the runway is no doubt thanks to her fashion background. Since age 17, when she was spotted by a scout in Sydney, she’s been hopping from Milan to Paris to New York for modeling jobs. “Every job I did is somehow linked to the present. I used to work in a record store in Sydney,” she recalls. “I’m still trying to figure out how my summer job at the McDonald’s drive-through will resurface.”
While Paris may be her adopted city, the 23-year-old Green says she’ll always be an Aussie at heart. (Her album will be put out by Universal Music Australia next year.) Meanwhile, a hectic schedule is keeping her in the northern hemisphere. After a concert at Paris’ Nouveau Casino in early December, she’ll go on tour throughout the country. “I’ve called in my sister, Anneke, to be my back-up vocalist, and she’s also going to make costumes for the tour,” Green adds, noting her sister recently graduated from design school.
These days, Green relies on a coveted collection of vintage pieces by designers such as Marc Jacobs and Chloé to stock her wardrobe. “I love wearing dresses—it puts me into a special mood—[but] I’m not the biggest fashion diva,” she says while pulling Roxy, her chocolate-colored Labrador, under the table by a studded turquoise leash. “I’m more whimsical. I could mix vintage YSL with a skater look, but I’m not like Avril Lavigne—I’m not into the fishnet tights and the combat boots.”
While Green’s statuesque Nordic looks and abundant sex appeal could have won her a place in the pop tart ranks, her soulful tunes and self-penned lyrics have been winning accolades from the music scene here. In fact, she’s written so many songs, Green believes she has enough for a second album, which she hopes to release next year. “I’d like to call it Sergeant Major Blonde,” she says, citing George Michael and The Beatles as among her musical inspirations.
At a pivotal point in her career, Green, who occasionally still poses for campaigns such as Diesel and French Connection, says she’s focusing on her music. “Modeling is too hard unless you’re Gisele,” she says, joking: “I’m working very hard on my music career—unless Karl Lagerfeld decides he wants to feature me in a campaign.”