Bright Light, Dark World: Lana Del Rey's Technicolor Style Statements


Tracking the singer's turn toward the ultraviolet, just in time for 'Ultraviolence'

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Though Lana Del Rey is a model and H&M brand girl, her personal style has been a bit hard to pin down: onstage, she's been the vision of innocence, usually gussied for ditching church in pristine white lace and satin gowns. Offstage, she's the portrait of ultra-casual, doing jeans and ballet flats, T-shirts and cardigans, as typically American as the "Star-Spangled Banner" and Starbucks.

It's a fashion duality that's equally reflected in her lyrics and musical persona, a bored, sweet woman with a bad streak. But leading up to the release of her second album Ultraviolence, she's been going all 7th season of Mad Men on us: like the show has transitioned from the innocent mid-Sixties to topsy-turvy, psychedelic '69, Lana Del Rey has mostly closeted her all-white, all-innocent stage gear for appropriately technicolor mini-dresses and multi-hued gowns. And with it, she has become what we've always suspected she is: a bright light in a dark world.



As Scarlett O'Hara at Cannes

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For the Cannes 2013 premiere of The Great Gatsby — and her theme song, "Young and Beautiful" — Del Rey looked her most elegant to date. It wasn't a color statement, to be sure, but the detailed embroidery on her Lena Hoschek gown was a sign she was looking for more sophistication than her normal tea-and-cakes frocks.


As June Carter Cash in Barcelona

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In Spain last July, Del Rey draped herself in a classic Seventies country star minidress and bouffant, landing anywhere on the style scale between June Carter and Dolly Parton to Tammy Wynette and Crystal Gayle — a student of the lace-edged bell sleeve, so much better whilst gesturing dramatically, my pet.


Xanadu in Lebanon

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In one of Del Rey's last recent appearances wearing her signature stage whites, she was literally radiant, gleaming like the daughter of a Greek god-turnt-roller disco queen who just came alive via love and a wall mural. Not to digress, but the Xanadu plot was insane.

Hawaiian Tropix at Coachella (Weekend 2)

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A week later, Del Rey played on the theme, looking like the poster girl for the first-in-history Pan Am flights to Maui, and/or the little surfer girl some beach boys might like to talk up. Far more Pacific Coast Highway than PacSun!

Sharon Tate-Megan Draper in Paris

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Do Del Rey and Mad Men creator Matthew Weiner have some sort of pact to troll fans? With the whole Internet assuming Megan Draper is a stand-in for slain star Sharon Tate, the most obsessed conspiracists could take one look at this Laurel Canyon-casual caftan and come up with infinite crazy theories and assumptions. At the very least: can we get Del Rey in as an extra in a party scene? It's the big easy!

Lana Del Rey practically taunts you with her wide-reaching range of inspirations. The 29-year-old torch singer born Elizabeth Grant is a nostalgia hall of mirrors, writing about tortured artists, dressing up like lost starlets, and feeding an old-Hollywood aesthetic with her choices of covers.

Vintage instrumentation gets shaken (not stirred) with the bounce of hip-hop, reverb coats everything with a sheen of Fifties-via-Nineties dreaminess, and her contralto has the vacant sadness of a faded Coney Island picture postcard.






Source: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/pictures/bright-light-dark-world-lana-del-reys-technicolor-style-statements-20140716#ixzz37gU4K6Kg