The Duke Spirit's Liela Moss in an Emma Cook cape dress and silver ring by William Llewellyn Griffiths.
Photo: Courtesy of Luke Ford
If you know The Duke Spirit, then you know this London quintet is so much more than a supremely talented rock band (although they’re definitely that, too). As anyone who’s caught them live can attest, these guys are masters at the complete audio/visual experience. First, there’s the group’s amazing in-your-face sound (check out singles like “Don’t Wait” or “Cherry Tree" for a refresher). Then there’s frontwoman Liela Moss, former McQueen muse and all-around cool girl who manages to make even jumping all over the stage look glam (which, trust us, is easier said than done). On the heels of their new album Bruiser, the band has just kicked off a nationwide tour with Jane’s Addiction. Liela called us before their show in South Carolina to talk about some of her all-time favorite performance pieces, Tina Turner, and her style spirit animal.
MTV STYLE: You have such commanding, unique onstage style. Let's pretend like we're with you on tour- can you walk us through your wardrobe?
LIELA MOSS: I'm looking at all my clothes now; there are several things I always bring, and I like to rotate them night after night. I’m really into great silk pieces with giant prints, because they’re easy to wash by hand.
Liela Moss performing in her Emma Cook cape dress.
Photo: Courtesy of Luke Ford
Which are your favorites?
I really love this cape silk dress by a London designer named Emma Cook. She’s well-established, but there’s something about the humor in her work that gives her an alternative edge. You see her pieces everywhere in London, she’s great and she’s a fan of The Duke Spirit so she’s given me a few things. The dress looks kind of like a reverse negative of a snow leopard, if that makes any sense. I like to wear it over leather shorts.
What types of leather shorts do you wear?
I have some Phillip Lim leather shorts that I’ve been wearing forever. Part of me wonders how many tours can I keep wearing these for, since I’ve worn them nonstop for three years [laughing]. I send Phillip pictures from time to time and I’m like, “I’m still wearing these shorts, dude! I still love them!”
What else do you always bring?
I have a really loose Antonio Berardi blouse that looks kind of like something Stevie Nicks would wear, but it’s a punk version. I like it because it’s not too ultrafeminine, and there’s a bit of attitude in this very thin, very delicate piece.
Liela Moss's new woven blue 3.1 Phillip Lim shorts.
Photo: Courtesy of Liela Moss
Is there anything else in your suitcase you’ve been wearing onstage?
There’s another pair of Phillip Lim shorts that I want someone to take a picture of because they haven’t had their moment yet. I like to give all my clothes their own moment, their own time in the spotlight [laughing]. They’re woven blue shorts with studs that create a ‘ra ra’ effect when you shake your behind. It’s hot in the South so they haven’t had their moment yet, but they will! They’re like, if Tina Turner was going to turn up as a biker, that’s what she would wear. They’re kind of weighing down my luggage [laughing].
Liela Moss performing this month in Miami dressed in 3.1 Phillip Lim shorts.
Photo: Getty Images
How do your onstage and real-life wardrobes differ?
I like to put on something different when I perform because that way it’s kind of charged with something special onstage; then, you take it off after and you’re like, “Okay, see you tomorrow.” I really enjoy costumes, but I’m not at the point where huge flamboyancy and overstatement is appealing to me. They suit some people, but I still have a little bit of a tomboy or punk inside of me. I don’t like to be the overdressed lady of the house- I like to let the costume do the work, and then I take 50% of it off to go get a beer. I don’t want to be the diva at the end of the bar, I’d rather be one of the boys at the end of the bar [laughing]. I don't take my style too seriously...my spirit animal this week is a rock n' roll mountain goat.
You can see all of Liela Moss's fabulous clothes in person when The Duke Spirit kicks off their headline tour June 1. Check out the dates and watch the band's new video for "Glorious" here.