Text by Kee | Photos courtesy of Louis Vuitton
Lambskin coat, silk T-shirt, silk viscose cady shorts, and calfskin leather fingerless mittens (Louis Vuitton)
Silk viscose cady jumpsuit, calfskin leather fingerless mittens, calfskin leather platform sandals, and painted lambskin Twisted bag with chain (Louis Vuitton)

She’s the anti-pop star of pop whom you can’t help but to find yourself rooting for. Frankly, she will still find a way to sleep soundly at night even if you don’t. This 28-year-old Canadian is unapologetically unapologetic about speaking her mind – it’s still a free world damn it – which only goes to show she isn’t of the manufactured variety despite what her bubblegum hair colour tells you. If you haven’t already introduced your aural sects to her acid trip spin on pop music, then we suggest you do so now. Or better yet, let one of her music videos make you rethink whatever you previously defined as fun.

MANIFESTO: What was your reaction when Louis Vuitton invited you for the first time to their show?

GRIMES: I was really excited. Nicolas [Ghesquière] always goes in a totally new direction with every collection, and it’s obviously amazing to see it first-hand. Plus, I had never been in a helicopter before.

M: What do you like about Nicolas Ghesquière’s work?

G: I think Nicolas’ work straddles the line between between fantastical and elegant. There are always crazy references – he told me they were watching a lot of Evangelion when working on the last collection – but the work is always very stylised, sophisticated, and the clothes themselves are extremely high quality. I think I try to accomplish a similar thing in my work, so we vibe…

M: How would you describe your style, like a manga heroine?

G: (Laughs) Sure. It fluctuates, but manga heroine is always a good vibe.

M: How does fashion does inspire your creativity?

G: Visuals are important to me, whether it be videos, shoots, etc. Designers and stylists can be my biggest collaborators in many ways. I don’t have time to make clothes, nor would I be very good at it, but it’s integral to the project. I want to create a world. Grimes should be escapist, so the visual and performative aspect is important to how the music is received. It’s important not to overtly sexualise myself, or spend too much time on strait forward beauty. Finding a balance that is unique and interesting without resting on tropes is difficult but also fun.


M: What is your perception of fashion? Are you into it?

G: I’ve always been into fashion. I think my guilty pleasure is trenchcoats, because if you have a sick coat, you can wear pyjamas under it, and no one would know.

M: What are your favourite Louis Vuitton pieces this season?

G: I think the fingerless gloves are extremely cool. I love the aesthetics of MMA and racing and such. It’s a real tough look, and can make an otherwise banal outfit pretty interesting.

M: Your real name is Claire Boucher. Where does your stage name, Grimes, come from?

G: It’s sort of a long story. On Myspace, you had to pick three genres. Grime was a genre that at the time I hadn’t heard of yet, I thought it seemed like the best one so I just had three grimes. Therefore, I was grimes as in grime but plural.

M: What are your inspirations when you write songs?

G: Everything; movies, nature, other music, books, people.

M: What are your music influences?

G: Everything. Especially things that I hate. If you have to challenge yourself to work in a mode that you don’t instinctively enjoy then you’ll make something more interesting.

M: You performed on Lana Del Rey’s tour. What do you like about her music?

G: I think she’s a great classic songwriter. Also, she doesn’t ever put out fillers. Every song is good. But at the end of the day, when I listen to her music I’m struck with the thought that I could never do that, when normally I’m thinking hmm how do I learn how to do that. So, I’m deeply impressed. Her skill is unlearnable.

M: What kind of music are you drawn to?

G: Music that elicits emotion.

M: How would you describe your fourth studio album, Art Angels?

G: I think it’s a rock album, created by aliens.

M: You did everything on Art Angels: you produced it all by yourself, you played the guitar, the violin, the drums. Is it because you wanted full control over it?

G: Control is important to me. If I didn’t make it myself, then I wouldn’t consider it fully a Grimes song. I hate it when people don’t credit producers and things. That’s why I always have featuring if I haven’t done hundred per cent of the work. But at the end of the day, DIY is just how I work. I think a lot of people see it as inherently political, but it’s honestly just a personal preference.

M: You’re a huge fan of Game of Thrones. What do you like about it and which character do you relate to?

G: I think it’s just good. Like, the plot is complex and incredible. The acting is fantastic, the writing is good, the costumes are great. I always prefer long form narrative, so obviously it has that. I like that they aren’t afraid to kill off characters. It’s sort of like the LOTR I had always wanted, because there are protagonists I can relate too, not just a bunch of dudes. I like the dudes too though. Also the villains are excellent. Joffrey Baratheon and Ramsay Bolton are awesome. I also like characters like Melisandre, or the Faceless Men. We’re so many seasons in and we still don’t know if they are good or evil. It keeps me on my toes.

M: How do you use social media? Do you care? Do you share everything?

G: I share almost nothing about myself. I hate social media. I think it will be ruinous to society. I would delete it if it wasn’t important to promotion. But I need to use it to speak directly to fans, because I distrust the media.

[Read the rest of the interview in the April 2016 issue of MANIFESTO]


Photography: Karim Sadli for Louis Vuitton
Styling: Elodie David (Touboul @ Artlist Agency)
Hair: Damien Boissinot @ Jed Root Agency
Make-up: Christelle Coquet @ Calliste Agency

StyleAnd there you thought Balenciaga’s fall 2021 collection which features medieval-inspired armour as ready-to-wear was batshit crazy. Enter Grimes in an Iris van Herpen garb that’s already a guarantee that the singer will look like a time-travelling future being who ... Read More
Watch & JewelleryIt was 25 years ago that Mariah Carey released Butterfly. It was an important song – and album – for the then-28-year-old who courageously penned the tune as a freedom track of sorts after divorcing the abusive Tommy Mottola, her ... Read More
StyleBreathtaking mountaintop views and Courtney Love aren’t just at the top of your mind when it comes to Portland, Oregon. Those in the know might say the Pink Martini band – a music group featuring a dozen members with songs ... Read More
StyleThese days, Doja Cat might be busy fending off haters of baldness and supporters of brows. But hey, a musician’s got to find time to earn a decent living too rather than just sinking into the sofa and replying to ... Read More