Yelle On Pushing Fashion Boundaries, French Style, And Why She Admires Nicki Minaj [INTERVIEW]

Photo: Grégoire Alexandre

Chalk it up to years of performing experience, her adorable bubbly personality, or that French je nais se quoi, but Yelle’s Julie Budet can make pretty much ANYTHING seem chic. When we popped by Maison Kitsune’s Manhattan’s outpost last week, the electro-pop songbird was just about to chow down on cheap New York street pizza…not exactly the glamorous lunch of rock stars, that’s for sure, but somehow she made it work. Trading her animal print jumpsuit steez for a statement-making cape, leather leggings, and graphic blouse, Budet took a break to talk with us about her recent Kitsune performance, impressive scarf collection, and why she always has overweight luggage on tour (ahem, #fashionproblems). Get the scoop below!

MTV STYLE: You just performed in Kitsune’s fashion presentation. How did it go?
YELLE: It was great! Kitsune had a new collection and had wanted to do something different than a normal fashion show, so the bands all did one song each for a TV special. We were all dressed in Kitsune, of course, which I like because the clothes are timeless and classic, but still with a twist of something modern. It’s very French.

Tell us a little about the outfit you’re wearing now.
I’m wearing a jacket from a friend who designs in Belgium, his name is Jean-Paul Lespagnard. All of the outfits in our second album art are by him, and I will probably wear him on our next album as well. I love to have fun with my clothing, so when I have friends designing I like to support them.

Yelle at performances in 2012 and 2011.
Photo: Getty Images

Do you use a stylist?
I don’t use a stylist now, but when I was starting out I worked with Brian Lichtenberg. He’s so nice, and our relationship came about very naturally. Now when I’m performing I like to wear a different outfit every night, but it’s hard to bring a lot of clothes on tour. Everyone is like, “Only one suitcase, Julie!” [laughing] I try to make it work, but it’s difficult!

Which musicians’ style are you obsessed with right now?
I really like the place Florence Welch comes from onstage. She’s such a beautiful girl, and I like how she wears dark, flowing dresses; it’s gorgeous and fits with her music. I could also even talk about Nicki Minaj, because I like the way she dresses too. I admire people who push the boundaries in fashion, even if it’s considered weird sometimes.

Can we expect you at Fashion Week this season?
I am going to go to Jean-Paul’s fashion show in Paris, but I don’t know if I will be at the others. I prefer to sometimes watch them on my computer screen, on I can see the clothes better that way! [laughing]

What’s one thing you never leave your house without?
I always have scarves with me because I want to protect my voice, but I wear certain ones all the time because they are from my mom. It’s just something from home that I can take with me, so that I can think about my family when I’m away. It’s kind of like my own kind of fashion security blanket!

Hear more Yelle here and buy her new single when it drops February 11.

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