St. Vincent's Style Evolution: From Indie Darling to Bowie-Esque Trendsetter
In August, the native New Yorker fortified his connection with music, doing an exclusive capsule collection with MTV. He also kicked off the Music Marc Concert Series at his Melrose Avenue boutique in Los Angeles. "Marc has always represented the progression of youth culture," Logan Eze from BC Kingdom, which performed, told Billboard. The Los Angeles-based group premiered tracks from its debut EP, BuckWildNite, including the song "Hype Williams," a nod to legendary music video director Harold "Hype" Williams, who, perhaps not coincidentally, directed Jacobs' first-ever musical video, a three-minute-long, star-studded companion to the fall print ads that is set to Man Friday's "Love Honey, Love Heartache (Larry Levan Mix)."
Jacobs and Williams first met at New York's Mercer Hotel in the early 2000s. "I've always thought his visual voice is incredible," says Jacobs, who, along with his muses, stars in the video. In the '90s, Williams revolutionized hip-hop videos with his artistic eye and large-scale production values for such artists as LL Cool J, Tupac Shakur, Nas and Elliott, whom he met when she was 16. He was close with Prince ("Sonically, all of us are a derivative of him in some capacity") and worked with Kanye West extensively. But Williams' video for Jacobs represents both a genre shift and a return to the spotlight this year. "The clothes had a rhythm that reminded me of Limelight," says Williams, referencing a bygone New York club that had its heyday in the early '90s. "The music we picked represents that era and Larry Levan, [a DJ who] was a genius at what he did; he shaped club culture."
For Clark, the video shoot with Williams "was like an acid-trip Fellini film, 8½ or Satyricon," she says. "[Transgressive industrial music pioneer] Genesis P-Orridge was on one side of me, Susan Sarandon on the other, and all these gorgeous, statuesque redheads milling round. It was lovely to be in the company of real artists and genuine, beautiful freaks."
Ever the consummate producer, Williams understood how to get the best out of the chic motley group Jacobs assembled by intuiting how people might respond to music. While shooting the video, he blasted The Prodigy for Clark. For Keiji Haino, the Japanese artist? "No music," says Williams. "I had to use that, his silence." Love only wanted to listen to her own songs; Manson "brought it" with Jay Z, even though he only listened to Justin Timberlake while prepping. "All of the hair and makeup ladies [said they] were fanning themselves, like, 'That is the sexiest guy I've ever met,' " says Clark of Manson. "[He's] extraordinarily intelligent and quite flirtatious; he will definitely say shit to provoke you," adds Jacobs, spoken like someone who knows how to do that, too.
This article originally appeared in the Sept. 17 issue of Billboard. Along with St. Vincent and Marc Jacobs, Rae Sremmurd and Sofia Richie are featured on a separate Billboard Style Issue cover for the Sept. 17 issue.