Style Session: Bethany Cosentino
Looking for the perfect summer soundtrack? Best Coast frontwoman Bethany Cosentino's got you covered. Together with bassist/vocalist Bobb Bruno, the indie duo's sophomore album, The Only Place, radiates the perfect blend of beachy surf rock and soulful lyrics. But that's only a sliver what Cosentino's got going. As we mentioned a few months back, she recently designed a clothing line for Urban Outfitters, inspired by vintage California fashions and pop culture. We recently chatted with the singer about her easygoing style, favorite thrift finds and the inspiration behind her latest record.
Lucky: What inspired you to get into making music?
Bethany Cosentino: My dad was a musician when I was growing up, and I started performing at a really young age, so it's always been something that I've done. I started writing songs when I was like 12, and I just never stopped. It's always been something that I enjoyed doing, and it just works for me. I was never good at math or science, but music was something that came really easy to me.
What was the driving force behind your latest album? Were you in a different emotional space working on this one versus the last one?
I was really heavily inside of my own head when I was writing songs for The Only Place. I was on tour for almost two years, spending so much time away from home, from my friends and loved ones—and I just felt lost. So I wrote a bunch of songs about those feelings. This record is more about real life and the shit that happens to people's emotions when they've been through hell and back.
Where do you see yourself musically heading in the near future?
I see myself involved in music in one way or another for the rest of my life. Whether it's writing my own songs, or writing songs for other artists—I want to continue doing this forever. I found something that really works for me, and something that makes me happy in the process, so I never want to leave this behind.
Did your personal style influence your music, or do you think your music has changed your fashion sense since you started playing?
I don't really think music and fashion have to go hand-in-hand. My style definitely started to evolve once the band became successful, but I think that was just became my confidence grew. I don't really dress up for stage, but I do try and take my favorite outfits on tour with me. I think it's awesome that people like David Bowie, or Grace Jones took fashion so seriously when it came to the music they were making, but that's not my vibe at all. I just dress how I’m feeling that day.
I love your designs for Urban Outfitters! Did you already have a vision of sorts for the line when they asked you to design for them?
Thank you! I wanted to make a line that was inspired by all the stuff that has inspired my own style—Stevie Nicks, the '90s, The Valley, California—all of this stuff that I grew up with. When I was designing these pieces, I also was thinking a lot about the girls at Best Coast shows and how they dress, and I was trying to get inside the head of a teenage girl in this era.
A lot of your UO designs have a vintage, thrifted feel to them. Are you a fan of thrifting?
I don't thrift as much as I used to, but only because i don't have a lot of time! I try to visit vintage stores and thrift stores when I’m on tour because I feel like shopping out of your own city and your own element is really cool. You always find stuff that you may never find back at home. I think the best piece of clothing I own from a thrift or vintage store is this awesome army jacket I got in London with a fur collar. It smells like the bottom of a gross basement, but it's my favorite jacket!
If you had to pick one decade that you could only wear styles from for the rest of your life, which would you pick?
The '70s. I love everything about the '70s: the hair, the fashion, the music. A lot of my style is inspired by the '70s, but I try and mix it with stuff from the '90s, too, so I’ll wear high-waisted pants with a crop top, or high-waisted shorts and a ripped up vintage tee with some boots. I just love both of those decades so much.
Are there any musicians that you personally look up to, in regards to both music and personal style?
Stevie Nicks is my ultimate icon. Her fashion sense is to die for, and her voice and songwriting are as well. I also really love Joni Mitchell, I think she had an awesome thing going on—that hair is so killer.
When you’re on tour, what are some of your personal wardrobe essentials that you can’t travel without?
Crop tops, tights, boots, a good pair of high-waisted shorts, and floral print dresses.
Check out more about Best Coast's latest album here.
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