Tasmin Wilson has been penning ethereal melodies with her folk trio Wilsen since 2013. After listening to her haunting voice on EPs including 2013’s Sirens, the Brooklyn-based trio’s long awaited LP I Go Missing In My Sleep will be released next Friday, April 28. In the meantime, Wilson’s sweet, waiflike ways can be seen and heard in the video for the band’s recent single “Centipede.”
Paste caught up with Wilson to discuss wearing comfy clothes on stage, exploring symbolism in music videos and the Spice Girls.
Paste: When did you first paying more attention to style or fashion?
Tasmin Wilson: I grew up with a stylish mum and two older sisters so I’ve always had my nose in other people’s closets. But it wasn’t until 12 or 13 that I realized you could dress beyond the jeans and Gap t-shirt combo. I tried to keep up with trends in high school, but abandoned that for comfy clothes in uni and now rotate between a few basic outfits… it’s a bit of a uniform. And I still troll the closets every time I’m home.
Paste: Do you feel that you dress more for yourself or for others?
Wilson: I dress for myself. I didn’t always, but by now, am quite clear on the things I love.
Paste: Do you dress any differently on stage than you do in your day-to-day life?
Wilson: No, not really. I used to dress up when I first started performing but wound up tugging at clothing or wobbling around stage the whole time. So I reverted to wearing comfier pieces—anything that lets me bounce around and press pedals easily. That said, I’d eventually love to experiment with more creative dress. It’s a whole art form I haven’t really delved into yet.
Paste: What is your biggest style inspiration?
Wilson: Currently Diane Keaton, Annie Clark and and a 5-yr-old I know who only dresses in rainbow.
Paste: In your opinion, what movie, TV show, music video, etc. had the best or most iconic style?
Wilson: That’s a tough one… I mean, the Spice Girls were so iconic growing up. I wouldn’t categorize theirs as the best style, but they certainly influenced a whole generation. Even now, people my age will ask, “Which Spice Girl were you?” Gwen Stefani was also very iconic at that time.
Paste: What’s the biggest fashion mistake you’ve ever made?
Wilson: A pair of stupidly tall, white, pointed, faux-crocodile skin heels. I think they glowed, too.
Paste: In general, how do you approach the visuals that you use with your music, such as music videos or album art?
Wilson: I list the core themes/keywords of the song and brainstorm ways they can be visualized. Ideas for symbolism, color scheme, or composition can be helpful to kick off research. I then start digging and save any images that stand out until I land on the right one. Honestly, it can take a long, long time… it’s a great opportunity to marry two art forms and I’d like to be deliberate in doing so.
Paste: Why do you think music and fashion are so intertwined?
Wilson: Music is largely experienced through performance so the visual presentation has a huge impact. A performer’s fashion choices can be just as integral as lighting design, stage plot and choreography. Certain artists use it as another platform to illustrate the character or theme behind their work. Others don’t consider it a priority and wear whatever they put on that morning. Both leave equally strong impressions.
Paste: What’s something you’ve never been bold enough to wear?
Wilson: Let’s just say there are lots of things I’ve never been inclined to wear.
Paste:Why do you think fashion is important?
Wilson: Like all design, it’s important because it meets functionality and aesthetic. It has the ability to influence interactions and perceptions of one another, however rightly or wrongly.