While ELLE cover star and Brit Rita Ora has certainly made her mark on America, she’s a girl with some serious hometown pride.
Ora will be joining forces with the British Designers’ Collective Boutique at Chic Outlet Shopping’s Bicester Village as a brand ambassador to host the pop-up’s launch on May 2. The event will feature top designers including Nicholas Kirkwood, Peter Pilotto, Jonathan Saunders, and Preen, while encouraging shoppers to discover the new crop of design talent.
In honor of the occasion, we caught up with the festive songstress on why she’s an advocate for British fashion, how she defines her personal style, and the vintage Celine Dion T-Shirt she’ll never part with.
How did you first get involved in supporting Bicester Village’s British Designers’ Collective?
I’ve been going to Bicester Village since I was young, my mum and dad really loved that place, and I always used to stock up on clothes. I love the fact that it supports great British designers. I’m a big supporter of British fashion, and so it just made perfect sense to be a part of the project.
What is it about British fashion that you find so interesting?
To me, British fashion has a story. It has history, and I feel it’s very much about our culture. Whether we’re vibrant like Henry Holland and JW Anderson or a bit quirky like Vivienne [Westwood]. Style is a great way of telling the story of Britain today. It has a real identity, and I know that other countries really look at Britain as an inspiration. British fashion is so unpredictable—I love that.
How does music complement fashion?
I love how music and fashion are so similar. We need each other. At the moment music feeds off fashion and fashion feeds of music and when they get together they fuse perfectly.
How would you describe your style?
My style is not quite as girly as some of these outfits. I usually like to switch it up and mix it with a tomboy vibe—in a beanie or a cap and add color pops. I’m all about textures and details. Not just the overall look—it’s how it feels. The little things that add to the look.
So you must be a true fashion experimentalist?
Thanks for saying that. I always like to experiment and also hope to be unpredictable—it’s fun.
As an artist, fashion is very important to what you do. Have you always dressed the way you do now?
Yes, but obviously on a cheaper scale! Growing up I didn’t have the luxury of access to all these amazing designers, so I would make looks up combining vintage with new pieces, the occasional piece of designer, and some high street.
Have you got any favorite pieces from when you were younger that you still wear today?
Vintage T‐shirts were always the ultimate go‐to for me. They were cheap and they always used to smell. I have this really cool Celine Dion T‐shirt that I got for £2.50, and it’s still the coolest tee ever. I love it.
What are your top style tips for the summer?
I never think too hard about a look. When you consider an outfit too much, that’s when it goes wrong. It’s always great to have a pop of color. If you don’t have time to put your makeup on, just a little red lipstick or a lip balm goes a long way.
Which other artists do you think have great style?
A$AP Rocky is really big right now, not only musically but also with his style. And I’ve always loved my icons, I’m still very much in a Brigitte Bardot and Marilyn Monroe mixed with Madonna kind of phase.
Is there anyone out there with questionable style?
Session 18: British Designers’ Collective Boutique
I always question myself. I see pictures, and I’ll be like, “Oh well that was a bit of a slip up,” but of course there are outfits that I have regretted a little. I’m not going to tell you which ones though…But really, I think that’s what makes fashion so cool, I don’t think there are ever mistakes in fashion, I think maybe people just misinterpret you sometimes.