With shout-outs from Taylor Swift and a front-row seat at Alessandro Michele’s Gucci runway, indie pop musician Garrett Borns — or Børns, as he’s known onstage — isn’t exactly flying under the radar. Still, the 24-year-old’s rise has been a swift one, as his first full-length album Dopamine just dropped last October. This past weekend, he wowed crowds at Coachella with his psychedelic sound and groovy look, a habit he’ll likely continue for the duration of his 2016-2017 tour and his weekend 2 Coachella performance on Friday night (April 22).
Børns’ stylist Kat Typaldos is no stranger to big names in music, as her other clients include Alicia Keys, MGMT and Chairlift. But she claims there’s something special about this “ethereal creature” from Michigan. She spoke to Billboard exclusively about the Gucci and Prince imagery that formed the backdrop of inspiration for Børns’ Coachella style.
Break down Garrett’s performance look for us.
The top is vintage, the pants, belt and shoes are Gucci, and the sunglasses are Pared. He’s also wearing some personal jewelry and some Gucci jewelry.
What were you drawing from in styling this look?
Garrett and I have had a very collaborative relationship from the beginning. We share a lot of visuals back and forth, including everything from runway shows to music icons.
We talk about people like Prince, David Bowie and Marc Bolan. But the universe that we’re creating comes from all kinds of aesthetic levels — the color of a flower, Instagram pictures, film or cultural references. It’s also about listening to the sound of his music, seeing what he’s responding to and elevating it with a fashion perspective while making sure that he has ownership over it.
Garrett instinctively has an amazing sense of style that feels very unique and appropriate for his point of view. His music has that element of psychedelia, but it feels really modern and fresh. We take those vintage elements and interpret them in a way that feels like him.
Are there specific Prince looks that you and Garrett really love?
We were just texting about that this morning — I sent a picture of Prince in thigh-highs and a fitted jacket, and he sent one back of Prince wearing a crop top with a low-waisted pant. Prince wasn’t afraid to take risks, and that’s what we come back to. Having that confidence and swag to do whatever.
Prince had a gender fluidity in his wardrobe too. With Garrett, we look at a lot of female artists and designers. Awhile ago, we were doing a fitting, and he showed up in a Rachel Comey crop top with a pair of high-waisted jeans and Sambas. It feels very “now,” and it’s exciting. Boundaries are dissolving and people are being identified in ways beyond what we’re used to.
Were there any Coachella-specific elements you were keeping in mind with this look?
Of course we had to contextualize, because when you’re playing in the desert, weather is important. Garrett also moves a lot on stage, which contributes to a particular sensuality that hearkens back to someone like Prince or Bowie. The result is very textural and plays off all five senses. It’s creating a world that goes beyond clothing, one that keeps in mind the psychedelic light show and the sun setting. It’s all interrelated.
How do Garrett’s looks from weekend one and weekend two of Coachella relate?
I wanted tonight to be an iteration of the first weekend—incorporating this beautiful colorway and the lace texture. It’s a kind of undone, deconstructed and eccentric festival look. We created a silhouette that we know looks good onstage, that he feels good in and that will photograph nicely, which is important as those stages are very well-documented.
Where are the vintage pieces from?
I go thrifting in the Valley in L.A. and find the most amazing stuff for basically nothing. Garrett wore a jacket last weekend before he got onstage—it’s this crazy snakeskin that’s very Nicholas Cage in Wild at Heart. He wore it all day and got photographed a lot in it, and I found that at Beacon’s closet for 20 bucks.
I’m a real sourcer and gatherer and I have an amazing tailor. I don’t think you need to have head-to-toe designer to look incredible. My closet really is insane, because I’ve been thrifting and vintage shopping since I was a teenager.
Any tips for readers who want to channel this look?
Go to your local vintage places. Buy Levi’s jeans for 20 bucks and get them tailored. Get a textural, lacy shirt from Topshop or Zara, then integrate it with something more personal—your own jewelry, or maybe something from your parents or grandparents.