Talking Style with Happy Hollows Frontwoman Sarah Negahdari

Design Features Happy Hollows
Talking Style with Happy Hollows Frontwoman Sarah Negahdari

“My look is feminine but tough. I like to wear shorts or dresses but with big chunky boots. I think it reflects how I express myself musically: vulnerable but strong, soft but hard,” Happy Hollows frontwoman Sarah Negahdari told Paste.

It’s an unlikely yet strong pairing, just like the band’s roots. Started when Negahdari, a California native then reading tarot cards at a local strip mall, met bassist Charlie Mahoney, an international relations professor who had just moved from Washington D.C. to pursue his Ph.D. at UCLA, the Los Angeles-based band took off, releasing their first album, Spells, in 2009. Now a fourpiece, having added Matthew Fry and Dan Marcellus to the lineup, Happy Hollows is on the cusp of their third record, out Sept. 8, and they’ve honed both their sound, and style.

We caught up with Negahdari about her killer style, from where she hunts for one-of-a-kind gems to her go-to summer outfit. Read on below.


Paste: Tell us a little bit about your style and how it influences you and your performance on stage.

Sarah Negahdari: I’d describe my style as slacker-fabulous. It’s a little art school, boho, a bit retro, with splashes of bright colors. I find a lot of gems on eBay or in vintage stores. My look is also feminine but tough. I like to wear shorts or dresses but with big chunky boots. I think it reflects how I express myself musically: vulnerable but strong, soft but hard.

Our music parallels some of those themes. We have a polished synth sound, but we also layer dirty guitars on top of the more refined sounds.

What I wear won’t make or break a performance, but I always want to feel like the best version of myself on stage to give it my all.

Paste: What do you think makes up an ideal stage outfit?

Negahdari: Something that looks like a visual extension of our music and allows for self-expression while also tying in with the style of the band. That’s often something bright, colorful and vintage.

I’ve got to feel totally confident in what I’m wearing so I can concentrate on performing. Practicality matters, too—I can’t tap my guitar pedals and run around the stage if I’m in high heels!

Paste: How would you say your on-stage style differs from your off-stage style?

Negahdari: Off-stage my look is a more toned-down version of my on-stage style. When I’m around the house or travelling, simple styles and comfort take priority. That also makes it feel like more of an “occasion” when I play a show and dress up.

Paste: What’s your go-to summer outfit?

Negahdari: My velvet leopard print shorts with my white tank top and my black boots.

Paste: Are there any specific artists who have influenced your style?

Negahdari: I really love PJ Harvey’s style. I’ve also always admired Kim Gordon’s look. I love their feminine but tough sound and style. They have both always been a big musical and aesthetic influence on me.

Paste: Any favorite places to shop or find one of a kind wardrobe pieces?

Negahdari: I love to shop at vintage stores. I love a store called Wasteland in LA. I also love the sale section at a store called Scotch and Soda. Once in a while I will go to the Rose Bowl Flea Market and find something amazing.

Paste: Do you have any beauty essentials?

Negahdari: I like to keep my face as natural looking as possible. I don’t wear makeup that often, but I definitely always carry a really great red lipstick. I spend far too much on lipstick, if I’m being honest. Right now, I wear a red lipstick from Nars.

Paste: If you had to sum up your personal style in three words, what would they be?

Negahdari: Slacker, Fabulous, Mystical.

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