After recording in a storage unit-turned-studio in Brooklyn, New York, B.Miles released her first three singles, including “Salt,” and quickly turned heads. Now, she’s back, showing off her singular, eclectic sound with her new single, “Typical Words.” Both “Typical Words” and “Running” are featured on her self-titled EP, out earlier this month.
Paste talked with B.Miles about pantsuits, styling music videos and sneaking into her mom’s closet.
Were you always interested in fashion or is that a more recent development?
B.Miles: Oh, I’ve been interested in fashion since I was a young kid. That doesn’t mean I’ve been the most fashion-forward, but I’ve always loved dressing up. My sister and I used to sneak into my mom’s closet and dress up just for the fuck of it. I felt like I could become another character in a sense: for a few hours I wasn’t Brenna Miles, I was someone else. As I started figuring out who I was on and off stage, my fashion sense followed suit.
Paste: How do you dress in your day-to-day life as opposed to when you’re performing on stage?
B.Miles: I don’t dress that differently, but I would say that my clothing is a bit more amplified. I’m a big believer that if you’re not comfortable in what you’re wearing, you’re not being yourself, and nobody wants to be around a fake. I’m slightly more casual in my day-to-day. I’ll put on a black or white t-shirt, high waisted pants and booties. When I perform, I usually choose an array of nicer looking (pleated, silk) trousers. I’ll definitely add height to my heel and throw on a statement jacket.
Paste: What’s one of the biggest fashion “mistakes” you’ve made in the past (a bad trend, for example)?
B.Miles: I used to flaunt the infamous polo and denim mini skirt look. I’ve burned all the evidence.
Paste: What movie, music video or TV show had the most iconic fashion for you?
B.Miles: I love the simplicity of black/white attire that’s tailored and elegant. In my opinion, Pulp Fiction embodies just that. Mia Wallace’s French bob with her black fitted pant and white collared blouse make her not only immaculately put together but extremely sexy.
Paste: Why do you think fashion is important in a larger cultural sense?
B.Miles: Fashion has always been a marker of what’s happening in the world at any given time. When women were gaining rights, pants became fashionable for women to flaunt. When women started working 9-5s instead of being housewives, pantsuits suddenly were flooding department stores. Not all trends reflect the cultural changes the world has faced, but I do think a lot of them are exemplified in fashion.
Paste: How does fashion relate to music?
B.Miles: As cliché as this is, I do think that music is a form of expression and so is fashion. The two feed off each other, music begs for a visual, and fashion provides that stimulation. When you pair fashion and music, I think you’re painting a full aesthetic picture.
Paste: What do you read (Magazines, Instagram feeds, whatever) to keep up on fashion?
B.Miles: styleheroine, matchesfashion, Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar.
Paste: How do you approach styling for something like a music video?
B.Miles: It really all depends on the video or the visual statement we are trying to convey. I look at a music video as being similar to the 4 seasons, you need to adjust based on the climate.