How has your personal style evolved from the beginning of your career to today?
At the beginning of my career I was going through a really weird phase of dressing in boys clothes. I would only wear one American Apparel T-shirt and shorts and brogues the whole year round. Not the same T-shirt, obviously, but one style of American Apparel T-shirt. I think I was going through a tomboy stage. That was during a break-up and I needed no thrills [clothing] so that I could run away at any specific point. Now I've become much more interested in colors, the way that things move on stage and what affects my performance when I'm wearing certain clothes.
Where do you look for fashion inspiration? How does fashion influence your music, and vice versa?
The first magazine that I [avidly read] was [British rock title] Kerrang! But I was always much more interested in reading fashion magazines than I was music magazines when I was a teenager. Just that sense of romanticism and escapism and the dream of it has always been quite alluring to me, as well as that sense of becoming a character through clothes. Music to me is so internal. It's physical and it's emotional. Whereas fashion is so much about the external that it's almost like a break. It's not inner turmoil. It's total escapism. I'm not wrestling with my emotions. It's a dress... Music can tear me up inside. Whereas fashion is much more emotional because of the way that clothes makes you feel … I think music is so much about the battling out of two sides of yourself and with fashion you can put something on and you feel a certain way. You're not trying to exercise a demon.
Who are your fashion "mentors"? Meaning, the musicians and other style figures that you appreciate or have inspired you?
The 1970s cabaret troupe the Cockettes [a psychedelic drag queen performance troupe from San Francisco] - I think it is always good to look for them for inspiration. I also like looking through old photography books and I really like French beatnik singer Françoise Hardy. I think she looks amazing.
Florence Welch Cover Story: On Her Own Terms
Florence on Anna Wintour, who asked Florence and the Machine to perform at this year's star-studded Met Ball in New York.
She's been really supportive and that Met Ball gig was just unbelievable, so I thought I'd send her over a copy [over new album "Ceremonials"] to show her what I've been up. She's said that she really liked it, which is great.
Does touring have an impact on your wardrobe?
About two weeks in everyone turns up at the airport in the most extreme outfits. When you're on tour you have no perspective on yourself, so everyone's clothes just get weirder and weirder and everyone gets more and more tattoos. It gets to two weeks in and you're at the airport at five in the morning, and you basically all look like Captain Beefheart.