“My style is ‘disposable flow state chic,’ influenced by the way I live most of my life, multi-tasking and ready to lose everything at the drop of a hat,” Annie Hardy told Paste. Because Hardy, releasing her debut solo album, Rules, on April 7, has experienced just that. Formerly of beloved indie outfit Giant Drag, she wrote the record during a period of unimaginable grief, having lost both her baby to SIDS at 17 days old as well as the father, her boyfriend.
Since, the California-based rocker has stayed quiet. But now, four years after Giant Drag’s second and final album, Waking Up Is Hard To Do, she’s ready to speak up, embracing herself through both music and style.
We caught up with Hardy to talk femininity, stepping away from outside influence and beauty essentials (a very nice hair brush, some red lipstick, Dermix compact, mascara and Winston Lights). Hell yes. Read on below.
Paste: Tell us a little bit about your style and how it influences you and your performance on stage.
Annie Hardy: My style is “disposable flow state chic,” influenced by the way I live most of my life, multi-tasking and ready to lose everything at the drop of a hat. I try to strike a balance between living a disposable lifestyle and an overly precious hoarder’s wardrobe of someone who still fits in the same clothes from jr high school… I’m a Gemini so I swing both ways, but I mostly find myself in dresses and skirts that are cute and comfortable. I can’t play and be wearing some weird uncomfortable outfit because many times, I’ll be playing guitar and drums at the same time, and I can’t afford to have discomfort taking my mind off the task at hand. I won’t sacrifice comfort after already having sacrificed much of what society would deem important in exchange for living in a constant state of flow or connection with the universe and its creative energies that most people obstruct with things like fear and their ego. My life is lived purposely to facilitate the constant stream of consciousness flowing through me and so my clothes are sort of utility items that can easily transfer from home to garden to stage without looking like a slob.
Paste: What do you think makes up an ideal stage outfit?
Hardy: Something that makes one feel confident and comfortable, layers ideally for when you start heating up a couple songs in. Something that handles blood, sweat and tears without staining. Leather boots with thigh high socks, no heel. Flowy skirt, blouse, pocket-laden surplus store jacket with vintage fox fur to class it up seems to work wonders for me.
Paste: How would you say your on-stage style differs from your off-stage style?
Hardy: I guess it’s like any other aspect of me, the same just a little more concentrated onstage. I wasn’t even aware that people go on stage and act totally different or live some sort of real life Hannah Montana duality. I guess the difference is the fox fur.
Paste: How would you say your style has changed between Giant Drag and now?
Hardy: In Giant Drag, I wore a lot of jeans and shirts because… I don’t know why. I think I hadn’t fully embraced my femininity and was brainwashed by society into thinking being a woman sucked, but in the recent years, I’ve discovered that I hate wearing jeans and t-shirts and now prefer skirts, blouses and thigh high socks and boots. As I’ve seen the people in Los Angeles get into this trend of looking like homeless slobs, it’s made me want to step it up a little bit, I guess.
Paste: Are there any specific artists who have influenced your style?
Hardy: No. I know thats kind of a weird answer but about 6 years ago I stopped listening to music, watching TV and movies, reading newspapers and magazines… basically removed all things that would influence one’s style on purpose and “turned myself to face me” so to speak, in order to find out what true me sounded like without outside influence. This is probably the best thing I’ve ever done, not only for my music but my life and general well-being. We end up comparing ourselves so much to others which causes a great deal of unhappiness and feelings of not being good enough. If we all realized that we are all one of a kind and put here to be our truest selves and there’s no comparing us to others, we might all be a little happier.
Paste: Any favorite places to shop or find one of a kind wardrobe pieces?
Hardy: Playclothes in Burbank is a really tite spot for very nice vintage clothes, but I prefer to buy stuff at estate sales of recently deceased people. Not only do you sometimes find an entire wardrobe from the 1960s in your perfect size but you get the bonus haunting of the previous owner if you don’t properly pray over your items to break any lingering spiritual ties.
Paste: Do you have any beauty essentials?
Hardy: A very nice hair brush, one of those expensive ones that make your hair look good no matter what, some red lipstick (I like this Maybelline Provocalips brand that has some top coat thing that makes it never come off), Dermix compact, mascara and Winston Lights.
Paste: If you had to sum up your personal style in three words, what would they be?
Hardy: Annie. Hardy. Rules.