Lykke Li and her musical work has always connoted a whimsical, melancholic longing, and her dark minimalist fashion sense has long reflected that, until now. In a new interview with Vogue, Li opens up about how her life seems to be expanding in all directions since becoming a mother and working on her new album So Sad So Sexy.
Li used to “always [be] inspired by The Shangri-Las or something very analog,” but these days, she finds herself widening her musical tastes. “I’m clearly still as much influenced by ABBA and Ace of Base as by a hip-hop song,” citing Kendrick Lamar as one of her favorite rappers.
On her style, she said, “I always create custom pieces for the stage.” Li has an undeniable Swedish proclivity for minimalism, but references dame Helen Mirren in Prime Suspect as current inspiration. “She wears the perfect trenchcoat, the perfect blazer, the perfect shirt with just lipstick and a gold chain.”
Looking back at her style evolution, Li says, “Obviously when you’re young, you’re not that aware of what suits you or not,” adding, “I was more trying to find my style and be more experimental, but for the last few years, my style is more like nonstyle: I want to wear things that disappear, things that are really classic and timeless.”
Motherhood has also shifted Li’s perspective. “I like my body now, against all odds.” Since giving birth to son Dion in 2016, she said, “I realized I’m a woman. I’m not a girl anymore.” Even her recent move to Los Angeles has impacted her style, “In L.A. I like to dress like a Palm Springs divorcé—a man with a gold ring and a nice shirt, you know?”
Since going on tour for her album, her style evolution has taken center stage. Lykke Li performed at 02 Academy in London as part of her So Sad So Sexy tour wearing a custom Mugler look.
This was a full-circle moment for Mugler’s creative director Casey Cadwallader, who’s been a longtime fan of Li’s. He said in a statement, “I have listened to Lykke since the beginning, so getting to know her, and to collaborate on this look has been so exciting for me.”