SB: How has your fashion style evolved since Danity Kane?
DR: “I’m evolving as a woman. My education is in fashion, and I think my style has just grown, like any other woman’s would. I’ve always loved fashion, I’ve always loved couture. But coming into it, especially when you’re manufactured with the label, you don’t get that pick in the beginning. And you probably could see it in Diddy Dirty Money because Puff kind of gave us a little bit more freedom. So you saw a couture side kind of happen there. And that was a lot to do with him giving us free reign. And I think now you see it even more now because it’s just me now. So you’ll see a lot more couture, just because that’s what I’m in love with. I love pushing androgyny. I love the idea of making people uncomfortable with beauty. I love pushing the envelope and a lot of people are afraid to do that because they’re worried that people may think it’s ugly. To me it’s just art.”
SB: Your current style reminds me a lot of Grace Jones, who wasn’t afraid to go out of the “pretty pretty” box. Who are some of your style influences?
DR: “I’ve always liked artists liked Bjork, who really pushed the envelope and people hated what she wore. Most of the times they just criticized it. But for me she was brilliant and it was genius. And you realize artists like her and Grace Jones, and of course Daphne Guinness who was another muse who Alexander McQueen really loved in the past. These are women who kind of pushed the envelope and I think people never really understood it. But some kind of way, designers loved them. And another example of those women was Kate Bush. She was another example of just an odd kind of way of doing things but it was just beautiful in its own way and its right. And those were the people I really always grew up loving. Gwen Stefani was another one who kind of just pushed the envelope with clothing. She put patterns together that were loud and obnoxious, and created an amazing line based on that. She used to rock pink hair, now everyone’s rocking pink hair now, so it was really ahead of its time. And growing up around kids, especially being an African American girl, they thought I was weird. And now growing up, I’m kind of turning into what I loved as a kid. And I don’t see it as me trying hard. People are always saying, oh she’s trying hard to be different. But if you knew me as a kid, if you knew me growing up, which a lot of people just really don’t know, that’s what I’ve always loved. I’ve always loved that.”
It’s finally her way. Dawn dishes on her signature style, and her new album.