MUNA—Josette Maskin (lead guitar/vocals), Naomi McPherson (production/guitar/synths/vocals) and Katie Gavin (lead vocals/production)—quickly made waves with their 2016 EP The Loudspeaker. The trio writes and produces all of their music, combining elements of funk, R&B and synth pop with fearless lyrics about gender identity and issues like slut-shaming. MUNA’s debut album About U comes out on February 3, and their new single “Crying On the Bathroom Floor” is just further proof that these girls aim to inspire both activism and an all-night dance party.
Paste talked with the trio about The Craft, Doc Martens and mood boarding.
Paste: Have you always been into fashion or is it a new interest?
Josette: I haven’t always been into fashion… when I was younger I would try to dress plainly (read: horribly) as a sort of revolt against the idea of fashion itself. I felt that trying was only a pursuit for those who are vain. That notion was ultimately based on my own insecurities with myself and my body, and as I have aged I have grown to appreciate and understand fashion more. Through knowing Katie and Naomi I think my love for fashion has definitely grown. I now see it more as an expression of myself and as an art form.
Naomi: I think I’ve always been into aesthetic beauty and things that look cool but to say I was always into fashion would be overstating it for sure. My love for it started in high school when I got a tumblr and discovered fashion blogs (how millennial of me, no?). It’s been a big journey for me coming to terms with my femininity and masculinity and I feel like in the past few years I’ve sort of come into my own. I know what I like.
Katie: Always, but in different forms. I used to be a thriftier that knew very little about fashion history and designers. Actually, maybe that’s still true.
Paste: Who are some of your style idols?
Josette: Some of my style icons are: James Dean, David Bowie, 90s Winona Ryder and Joan Jett.
Naomi: Patti Smith, Kurt Cobain, Grace Jones, Sid Vicious, Aaliyah, Bowie… oh, and anyone femme who rocks a simple power suit. Love that.
Katie: Female Buddhist nuns, Ève Salvail, Zenon, my friends.
Paste: Is there a movie, TV show, music video, etc. that you remember in particular as having amazing fashions?
Josette: As a group we love the fashion in the movie The Craft. The witchy/coven vibe is always something that is particularly enticing. Who doesn’t want to be apart of a coven with their best friends looking hardcore and badass?
Trainspotting. Clueless. Heathers. Die Kinder Vom Bahnhof Zoo.
Katie: I loved the fashion in Josie and the Pussycats and The Craft.
Paste: Do you dress any differently on stage than you do in your day-to-day life?
Josette: My style on stage is a slightly more exaggerated and stylized version of how I dress in my everyday life. Everything I wear on stage I have worn in my everyday life. It is just a more put together version of how I dress everyday.
Naomi: Like Josette said, it’s just a more exaggerated extrapolation on what we wear in our everyday lives. I do dress a bit more casually and boyishly if you clock me on the street though. Black slacks and a white t-shirt probably.
Katie: I’ve started to dress differently. I think it’s fun to just allow your style to be heightened when you’re on stage, like a character of yourself.
Paste: How do you approach styling for music videos and the various visual components that accompany your music?
Josette: We make mood boards whenever we have a new music video or photo shoot. Mood boarding helps start a creative conversation of how we want present ourselves. We will usually then take our mood boards to our stylist who helps bring our ideas to life.
Naomi: We are just trying to expand on who we are as people so much of it is just gut instinct, what feels right for each of us and what feels right as a whole.
Katie: We are very hands-on about styling for videos. We make mood boards for every new project and we are lucky to work with friends that can make custom pieces for us. For the Loudspeaker video, we went to a hardware store in East LA and made a bunch of necklaces and belts out of chains there. It’s more fun when you do it yourself.
Paste: What’s your go-to outfit for the winter?
Josette: My go-to outfit for the winter is: a pair of wrangler jeans, my black studded belt, a sweater of some sort, my docs and a leather jacket. Simple and to the point. Very much me.
Naomi: Black trousers, high monochromatic doc martens and either an oversize hoodie with a bomber on top or a black floral button down and black or grey long coat.
Katie: I have a massive turtleneck sweater with sweater pants that I will wear all the time cause it makes me feel like a cozy angel. But in LA, winter outfits are kind of the same as fall or spring outfits. I wear turtlenecks all year round; it’s not weather appropriate but it matches my spirit.
Paste: If you had to sum up your style in three words, what would they be?
Josette: Gay, sporty and lazy.
Naomi: Androgynous, Dark, Slick.
Katie: Looks, looks, looks.
Paste: What’s the worst fashion trend that ever existed?
Josette: The worst fashion trend that has ever existed is definitely the over sized hat trend. The oversized hat needs to go. There is something so douchey about it. I probably hate it because there was a time when I was part of the trend.
Naomi: I’m tempted to say colored acid wash.
Katie: I’m not mad about any trend. I think it’s beautiful that we as a culture can all agree that something objectively ugly is beautiful and just embrace it together. Except fedoras, fedoras can leave.