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Music Issue Special: Shirley Manson

It always seems as though it's the most stylish of celebrities who can't quite pinpoint their fashion sense. "I'm still looking for my personal style!" says gorgeous Garbage frontwoman Shirley Manson. "I'm all over the map and always have been." The flame-haired Scot first appeared on the music scene in '95. But the band's latest album, Not Your Kind of People, marked a return to the recording studio after a six-year hiatus, with a loud, fun sound that harkens back to their earlier records. It's a vibe that totally fits Manson's take on fashion, too, with a bold approach to trying any trend imaginable. And encouraging other women to do the same.

"Style to me is constantly evolving and mutating, so I can't define what my tastes or even my limitations might be, because that could all change like the weather by tomorrow!" she says. "I do feel like there is a terrible pressure right now on people to fit in and dress like everyone else and toe the line and be a good girl and not do anything risky for fear of being laughed at. There is a real danger of us all being homogenized and ironed out which I think is terribly sad. I love individuality in fashion. I love seeing girls take chances and pairing odd pieces together to create something really fresh. Even if they make mistakes and they don't always pull the look off, I love them for trying and daring to be different."

Get a taste of Shirley Manson's style below.

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"I love the way I look in our new video "Blood For Poppies!" I look like frickin' Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard! She's my heroine and my muse, and it's one of my favorite movies of all time."

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"When I get dressed, I start from the bottom up. Shoes have always been a thing that I go nuts for, I don’t fall in love with clothes the way I fall in love with shoes. I have three pairs of Marc Jacobs boots– classic boots, they have a wooden stacked heel– I wear them all the time. He has gifted me stuff over the years."

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"When I’m in the UK I love to go into H&M and Topshop. I do most of my shopping online. They do really good, you’ll see an amazing pair of harem pants, and I quite like to get a pair of harem pants. I’ve had clothes over the years from designers that lasted only a few times; you may as well buy them at the high street store, don’t spend 200 bucks. American apparel, they’re a billionth."


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"Gianni Versace gifted me a couture cocktail dress a short time before his death. It’s sleeveless A-line cut, down to the knee: late '50s-early '60s in style. It was made out of the most beautiful fabric, it was almost like veined, white with black. He was the first designer ever to express an interest at all. He invited me to pick anything I wanted in the store, it was crazy."

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"My first serious designer purchase was a sumptuous black velvet [sweater] by Betsy Johnston. It cost me 100 British pounds sterling (around $200), which was a month's wages at the time. Much at the same time – Madonna was wearing one on the cover of Vogue."

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