The synergy of fashion and music has become such a constant presence in music videos that the hard work, the style options and the delicate balance that’s necessary to create that seamless flow is not obvious to most viewers. Still, when it all comes to gather—which is a miracle in itself—the videos can create an indelible impression in consumers’ memory.
Who can forget Madonna in Jean-Paul Gaultier’s cone-breasted bustier in “Vogue,” Michael Jackson’s leather jackets in “Beat It,” Toni Basil in cheerleader gear in “Mickie” or Janelle Monae’s androgynous style in most of her videos. Being styled in certain fashion can bring more audience engagement to fashion designers and/or help launch the career of style. (June Ambrose holler!!)
This cross-pollination of music and style has created some iconic music videos. And the evolution of fashion and music continues with Laura Michelle’s new video “Chuck Norris.” And though the Chuck Norris reference doesn’t necessarily conjure up images of high fashion, stylist Jill Christiansen has injected some Alexander Wang, Alexander McQueen, Gucci and some Louboutin’s into this off-beat video.
After the release of “Chuck Norris,” Laura Michelle spoke with Fashion Reverie about her personal style and how Chuck Norris served as a reference point for this wacky, but stylishly chic video.
Fashion Reverie: How would you describe your musical style?
Laura Michele: That is always such a hard question because my taste in music is very eclectic. However, my musical style can be described as pop rock. The “Chuck Norris” video is more pop, but the rest of the CD. “Novel With No End,” is more pop rock. There are a lot of influences in my music. One time on the way to the studio to record I was listening to country music and when I got to the studio my sound came out sounding very country western. So, the technician at the studio said ” No more country before you come into record.”
FR: Your have an eclectic musical style, as well as an eclectic fashion sense. Where does this all come from?
Laura Michele: I have always been really silly and quirky, although I was shy as a child. My Dad was always sick when I was kid so I would use humor to try to cheer him up. So, that is where my quirky side comes from. Plus, my whole family loves to laugh and likes to make jokes. We are a silly family and that quirky silliness comes out in my music and my fashion style.
Laura Michele: My mom would buy me these CDs and she brought me “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” with Donny Osmond. I must have worn that CD out, playing it over and over again. Once when my family was in Hawaii on spring break we found out that Donny Osmond was performing in the show in Maui. My Dad couldn’t get us tickets and later I found out that that particular performance was the last time Donny sang in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” I also love the song he does in the Disney movie “Mulan.”
FR: Who are some of your other musical influences?
Laura Michele: When I was really little I loved all the music from the Disney musicals. As I grew older, I was enchanted with Celine Dion. I couldn’t have a good day at school unless I started my day listening to Celine Dion. Then, I transitioned to N’Sync and Britney Spears. Now, my tastes are all over the place. I find inspiration from so many artists; there are so many good musical artists on the scene right now.
FR: Could you talk a little about your musical training?
Laura Michele: I started voice lessons in the third grade. I started with a guy with named Jim Beckford. I started recording in my senior year in high school. And Beckford taught me a lot about studio singing. I later studied with David Corey in LA and he was been vocal coach ever since.
FR: Why did you choose Chuck Norris as a cultural reference point for this video?
Laura Michele: As I mentioned earlier my Dad was sick for most of life and in the last four years of his life we watched a lot of “Walker, Texas Ranger” that starred Chuck Norris. And I found out that Chuck Norris also gives a lot to charities and his own foundation. And who is more badass than Chuck Norris?
FR: So in a way in this video an homage to your Dad.
Laura Michele: To some extent, this video does give honor to my Dad. I kept thinking when we were shooting this video about how much my Dad would have gotten a kick out of this video. In the video I am wearing a diamond heart pendant necklace my Dad gave me. There is also a framed photo my Dad and me in several scenes of the video.
FR: What are some of your styling choices in this video?
Laura Michele: My taste is very eclectic. There some very 50s silhouettes mixed with rock n’ roll. That is what I am very drawn to. I am also very drawn to comfort that is one of the reason I love Alexander Wang and he clothes are used quite a bit in this video. In the waiting room scene I am wearing Alexander Wang. Jill Christiansen, my stylist, really understands my style aesthetic and is always directing me to get great garments for my own personal wardrobe.
FR: How did your relationship with Jill Christiansen develop?
Laura Michele: I met her through Matt Beard who is the photographer for my current CD. I have known her for ten years and we hit it off immediately. She is so hard working, really understands my aesthetic and so easy to work with. Most of all she never tries to dress me in clothes that I am not comfortable in. And consumers can see when you are not comfortable in certain stage costumes or clothes in photo shoots.
FR: You are somewhat of a curvy girl, does being curvy dictate how you choose fashion and which designers you are attracted to?
Laura Michele: I gravitate toward what I like and in reality I really only a size 6. Sometimes because of the curves, consumers think I am larger, but I am really only a size 6. My style is geared toward more what catches my eye.
FR: What’s next for you?
Laura Michele: I filmed a Comcast on Demand special and that should be airing soon. My new CD comes out August 7. I will be touring and doing shows in the fall and I am already working and writing music for my next CD.
—William S. Gooch