Photo: Courtesy of Wild Belle
Wild Belle first crossed our radar early this year when we caught wind of the Chicago brother-sister duo at SXSW and have remained firmly planted in our iTunes ever since. Elliot and Natalie Bergman have a killer stage presence, ridiculous style, and a funky R&B-meets-blues music backbone that takes them from buzz band to Next Big Thing. After making several Fashion Week appearances this season (including a performance to a packed industry crowd), the band continued their style streak with a brand new video for “It’s Too Late,” in which Natalie works bellbottoms, crop tops, and platforms with enough slinky ’70s swagger to make even the Charlie’s Angels jealous. On the cusp of their North American tour, we talked with Natalie about the video’s inspiration, her obsession with Burberry, and why Wild Belle keeps fashion in the family.
MTV STYLE: HOW DID THE FASHION CONCEPT OF THE “IT’S TOO LATE” MUSIC VIDEO COME ABOUT?
NATALIE: Elliot and I wanted to create a video that pulled elements from different movements that influenced the song “It’s Too Late.” The song has a hint of Rock Steady, so we wanted to incorporate some sort of 1970s Jamaican Rockers look, along with a hint of Tropicália – which is a Brazilian movement that originated in the ’60s. We started pulling ideas and looks from the 1978 film “Rockers”, which was filmed in Kingston, and includes some of our favorite musicians of the time. We wanted to work with a green screen so that we could cut and paste images behind us similarly to creating a collage.
IN WHAT WAYS DID THE ’70S STYLE INFLUENCE RELATE TO THE TRACK ITSELF?
The song itself is a modern twist on 1970s reggae. We sort of based the sound and look of the song around our favorite Jamaican artists including Jackie Mittoo, Alton Ellis, Delroy Wilson & of course Bob Marley!
WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR FAVORITE FASHION LOOKS FROM THE VIDEO?
Most of the clothing in the video was found in either my closet or Elliot’s closet, give or take a few garments that we found exploring L.A. thrift stores with Jess the day before the shoot. My sister, Elise, designed some of the jewelry I was wearing. The jacket in the from the Burberry Prorsum collection and the bellbottoms are vintage. [Burberry Prorsum] is one Wild Belle’s favorite collections within the past few years. We love the patterns and colors of all of the fabrics they used. Elliot and I were inspired by a Malian photographer named Malick Sidibé who took amazing black and white portraits during the ’60s. Some of the subjects in his photographs have matching outfits, and Elliot and I are wearing very similar shirts in several of the scenes to capture that look. We were also inspired by the latest Miu Miu collection that features the beautiful Chloë Sevigny. Their clothes have funky patterns and bold colors and we love that kind of thing!
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE ONSTAGE STYLE OF WILD BELLE?
We have a combination of soul music mixed with a little rock & roll, so we like to incorporate those elements into the overall tone of the set, and into the attitude of the performance. I usually try to wear some kind of colorful top, but it depends on what kind of mood I’m in! My sister designs a lot of the clothes I wear on stage. The boys usually wear suit jackets to keep things classy with a funky shirt underneath. Elliot always wears fun patterns. We sure do like leopard print!
WHO IS YOUR STYLE ICON?
First, I would probably say my sister, Elise. She is a brilliant designer and has been venturing out this past year and making all sorts of wild and adventurous pieces. We were just together during NYFW and had a really fun time. I’ve always loved Kate Moss, mainly because she’s exquisite looking, but also because she is totally rock & roll. I love Fela Kuti because he always looks so dope on stage!
Wild Belle kicks off their North American tour on Saturday. For dates and to hear more from the band, visit their website!
+ WATCH WILD BELLE, “IT’S TOO LATE”