With a voice seasoned in black pepper and kohl rimmed eyes, singer-songwriter Gin Wigmore is a touch rock ‘n’ roll with a pop inflected driving rhythm beneath her soulful crooner vocals. In 2013, her sophomore album Gravel & Wine was released by Mercury Records, and showcased Wigmore’s signature grit—especially in the music video for her catchy single “Man Like That” where, true to form, Wigmore adopts a 1920s saloon meets flapper styling. Needless to say, the New Zealand born musician has a fashion sense equally eclectic as her sound.
With unfussy platinum blonde locks, a beautifully detailed tattoo sleeve and rings for every finger, Wigmore is the embodiment of casual tough girl style. Her concentrated, piercing gaze illuminates her face and showcases the performer’s palpable drive and focus. A classic jean, boot and hoodie kind of gal, Wigmore also dresses up on occasion and always evokes an old-timey elegance punctuated by a cheeky smile and modern edge.
Though about to kickoff her stateside tour on September 8 in Boston, with dates in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles and Philadelphia already sold out, we were able to get ahold of Wigmore via email to talk all things style related, including her various wardrobe inspirations and what staying true to herself means for both an on and offstage persona. With her latest release Blood to Bone set to drop tomorrow, August 28, we cannot wait to hear, and see, what Gin Wigmore comes up with next.
Paste: Tell us a little bit about your style and how it influences you and your performance on stage.
Gin Wigmore: I believe a person’s style is how they wish to be perceived by the world. With that said, my style changes a lot just as my music and what I feel or don’t feel strongly about changes. It is a reflection of how I feel about myself on the inside yet portrayed on the outside. I also think you can read a lot about a person based on the decisions they make with the clothes they choose to wear and I think that is one of the coolest things about style. It’s another language of sorts, a way of grouping people, connecting people and feeling a sense of belonging with others.
Paste: In your opinion, what makes the best stage outfit? Or better yet, what makes the worst stage outfit?
Wigmore: The best stage outfit for me is something I feel confident, sexy, strong and comfortable in. You can’t go wrong with a good jean, black boots and a rad top with a TON of jewelry. Worst outfit? Feathers.
Paste: Have you ever dealt with any wardrobe malfunctions onstage?
Wigmore: No rogue boobs out in my time. And to be honest, so far, I can’t think of anything malfunctioning as of yet. I definitely do have a cringeworthy catalogue of outfits from some past shows though…I’m talking 19 year old me thinking sailor theme outfits were cool. Definitely not cool.
Paste: How would you say your onstage style differs from your offstage style?
Wigmore: I’d say the only main difference is that I glam it up a bit more for the stage. Throw a bit of makeup on and run the hairbrush though my hair a few times.
Paste: How has your look changed since you first started performing?
Wigmore: I guess it has become more comfortable? Ha, that sounds like I have totally let myself go. I mean that in the way of not feeling like I need to try so hard to separate my onstage and offstage appearance. I prefer to be a true representation of myself all the time.
Paste: Does the touring life influence how you dress?
Wigmore: Ha, yes. Showering is a luxury on the road so I would say the change in the “perfume” of my dress is what becomes mostly influenced or shall I say affected by touring.
Paste: Are there any favorite stores you must by while on tour?
Wigmore: I always love stopping into Sephora for lip balms. And my other favourite go-to would have to be Macy’s for socks.
Paste: Do you go about packing for tour in any special way or just throw everything in a suitcase?
Wigmore: I’m always pretty last minute when it comes to packing, so yeah, it’s a throw everything in the suitcase type of deal. As long as everything is washed the night before and I have my passport (which I often lose!!) then I am all set.
Paste: Would you say there are any specific artists who have influenced your style?
Wigmore: Hundreds. I am very open minded when it comes to the music I listen to and am influenced by. I guess that’s why my music continues to not stay too entrenched in one particular genre. My influences for a long time have ranged from Edith Piaf, Irma Thomas, Tallest Man On Earth and Alt-J.
Paste: We love the diverse fashion choices in your music videos, from a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde in “Written in the Water: Die Regardless and Live However” to the grungy take on 1920s flapper style in “Man like That.” Is there a specific era you find yourself particularly inspired by, whether in your music or look?
Wigmore: I find myself really drawn to the lifestyle of the 20s. With perspective I can appreciate things about many eras though. I do always wonder what it would be like to be around during Ancient Egyptian times…I guess my inspiration wanders across many eras.
Paste: Did growing up in Auckland, New Zealand impact your personal style?
Wigmore: I think Mum actually attributed to the impact on my personal style more than Auckland. Main reason being, I was the youngest child of 3, so hand me down clothes from my brother was largely my wardrobe. This definitely taught me the value of having my own special items just for me. I now take that with me and only buy things I really love, not just throwaway clothing.
Paste: Do you have any beauty essentials?
Wigmore: Rosehip Oil and Boscia 50+ Sunscreen.
Paste: And last one, how would you sum up your personal style?
Wigmore: Relaxed, messy and unexpected.