Since the release of her critically acclaimed debut album Collapsed in the rays of the sun Last January, the rise of Arlo Parks was unstoppable. The 21-year-old British musician’s sultry lyrics and sonic textures won her the Breakthrough Artist award at the Brits and the prestigious Mercury Prize, and she is currently gearing up to support both Harry Styles. and Billie Eilish on their upcoming tours. And with her cropped, dyed hair and her keen eye for kaleidoscopic tailoring, it’s not hard to see why she’s also become a fashion world favourite, regularly dressed by Gucci, Dior and Valentino.
But for Parks, nothing could quite compare to the adrenaline rush of attending her first Grammys, where she was nominated for both Best New Artist and Best Alternative Music Album and featured a a number of prizes. “It was completely surreal, very distinctly exciting, and honestly the day was a blur of emotion,” Parks said happily the day after the ceremony. “Being surrounded by creative people and spending the day celebrating how important and varied music is could never be anything but a really good day.”
To celebrate her big night out in Vegas, Parks worked with her stylist Harry Clements to deliver a look worthy of the event’s typically playful sense of glamor – and for that, they went to Simone Rocha, the London-based designer who has circles a float, her ethereal dress is matched only by the tomboyish energy of her tailored coats, leather jackets and chunky boots. “The heart of the look was balance – hard and soft, black and white, pearls and rubber, a gold grid and a pearl earring,” says Parks. “I wanted it to be this showdown between comfort and advantage. We built this look around rugged femininity and a slightly offbeat elegance.
It’s not the first time Parks has worn Rocha’s pieces – she wore a crisp white shirt topped with the designer’s sheer black tulle dress to accept her Mercury Prize last September – but in the months leading up to the Grammys, she realized that Rocha’s signature, alchemical blend of toughness and fragility, seemed like the perfect formula for her look. “Honestly, I feel so much like myself when I’m draped in Simone Rocha,” Parks continues. “I love that she is an artisan, that she subverts tradition, that she highlights strength and toughness at the heart of femininity alongside elegance. I just think she’s a genius, honestly.
The best detail of all? Look closely at the shirt Parks wears under his jacket and puffy satin sleeves, and you’ll notice a lyric embroidered in blood-red stitching that says “make peace with our own distortions,” from the title track of his album. “Words are at the heart of what I do and this line captures the ethos of the record,” Parks says, “using music as a way to accept the ugliness within and be at peace with a past and to be imperfect and to love so hard.” On the subject of love, Parks was also supported by his girlfriend, alt-pop singer Ashnikko, for the biggest night of his career. What could make for a happier ending than that?
Here, find out all the details behind Parks’ stunning Grammys look and behind-the-scenes experience of music’s biggest night.