Miss Petaluma On…


In the age of nonsensical TV talent shows, coming across genuine X factor is a rarity. So it seems about time, new decade and all, someone like VV Brown should break rank and fill our ears with joyous indie-pop-soul sounds and delight our eyes with ‘I want to look like her’ clothes.  2009 has been a real butterfly year for the singer,  one started as a stranger and ending as the fashionista’s chanteuse of choice.  Known for her signature roll, beautiful doll-like face and avant-garde fashion, she has upped the stakes and then some.

VV Brown, otherwise known as Vanessa, is not your average black female singer.  If you raided her wardrobe you would be hard pushed to find the  R&B indentikit uniform of diamante encrusted jeans, bling bling and super tight tees.  It is in fact her unique sense of style that puts her leaps and bounds ahead of the pack.  “I’ve really come out of my shell.  When I was younger, i was trying to find my identity, but now I’m much more confident.” she says.  Fashion confidence she certainly exudes in buckets,  evident in her signatory oversized cossack hat, kitten eye-liner and mis-matched but oh so glamorous outfits.  In fact such is her love of fashion, she launched VVVintage.com, an eponymous vintage website.  A team, led by her sister, go out and buy the clothes in bulk, so fans can get the look  “It’s a hobby really, I’m surprised the clothes are selling well.  We customise a lot of them, cutting them up and re-sewing them.”  she explains.

VV Brown at the Ashish fashion show in her signatory Cossack hat

“I’m still at the beginning,” the sweet-spoken singer explains “I’ll never make it if I’m complacent.” A humble statement, considering the rollercoaster year in which she has launched her debut album ‘Travelling Like the Light”, stomped the stages of the coolest summer festivals and graced the front rows of the chicest fashion shows, all washed down with a successful UK tour.  The kooky singer describes her look as “Vintage Mix Couture”, a hearty combination of  vintage, street and high-end designers such as Viktor & Rolf, bezza Ashish and Chanel“Since watching ‘Coco Avant Chanel’,  I’ve fallen in love with Chanel and that’s anything from vintage to the new stuff.  It’s always so timeless.” she gushes.  Vanessa has really found her place in the fashion scene, modelling an exclusive range for Asos, performing at Ashish’s AW09 catwalk show and filling column inches in the glossies.

VV Brown models a shoulder bow detail dress, £200, Natsumi Zama at Asos

Her outfits are truly memorable, something her Island Records predecessor Grace Jones would appreciate.    At her London gig she struck an awesome vision, with her 6ft, leggy frame, waist length brown hair and double-take outfit, which included a crinoline tutu, huge-shouldered sequin body and Venetian feathered mask.  Vanessa’s personal  favourite is her Bestival outfit, described as “Something from Jurassic Park, really uncomfortable, but extravagant“.  However, she’s quick to recall her fashion faux pas’, after all even the hardened fashionista needs a day off every now and then.  Most notable was her “Not flattering!” purple dress worn to the Confessions of a Shopaholic premiere and, as she spotted in a recent Instyle magazine, the “fashion-forward, before Ga Ga” puff shouldered number she donned at the Brits Nominations late 2008.

VV Brown in her favourite "Jurassic Park" outift worn at Bestival

VV Brown's stage outfit at her London gig

And on to the weave.  It’s clear to see VV’s lengthy mane is by no means natural.  Vanessa laughs as she explains “It’s important to celebrate our natural hair, but i love weaves, braids and canerows too..why not when you can have it all?” She recommends regular steam treatments to maintain healthy hair and extensions.  The singer rolls her own pompadoured mane, but keeps it real getting her weave done by the same lady she’s gone to since she was 14 years old.

VV Brown in the "unflattering" outfit worn at a film premiere

What does 2010 hold for Miss Brown? She’ll be moving to the states, spending time in Paris and working on her second album in London.  But aside from all that music stuff, no doubt her fashion direction will continue to grow.  Own label, new hair-do – Bjork-style stage out-fits to name a few, this is one sci-fi pop star to watch.

Signing out with the fabulous outfit-change-filled video to ‘Game Over’.


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