Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images, Neil Mockford/GC Images, George Pimentel/Getty Images and by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
FKA twigs is one of pop’s greatest innovators. In 2012, twigs emerged from the London dance scene with a mix of artistic pop, trip-hop and R&B. Combined with an operatic voice and a dark, minimalist production, the singer’s unique sound quickly propelled her to the forefront of the London music scene, earning her, among other things, a prestigious Mercury Prize nomination. In addition to his musical talents, twigs’ dedication to his artistic vision is almost unparalleled. Already a trained dancer, Twigs spent years learning the art of pole dancing to realize her vision for the “Cellophane” video. In 2019, she learned wushu and sword fighting for her “Sad Day” music video.
Of course, fashion also plays a huge role in twig artistry. From LP1s GHE20G0TH1K looks towards Magdalenethe baroque aura of the singer, each of the eras of the singer is characterized by a demanding aesthetic, orchestrated by twigs, herself, alongside stylist Matthew Josephs and longtime collaborators from Ed Marler to Christopher Kane. Offstage, branches’ style is equally idiosyncratic. She is a collector of Vivienne Westwood corsets and vintage Gaultiers. And she’ll wear NikeLab gear as easily as she’ll don an Edwardian dress. With the announcement of the next mixtape Caprisongs, it looks like twigs will be entering its most eclectic era yet – both musically and sartorially. Here we trace the evolution of the twig style, from the early 2010s to today.
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Performance at the NikeLab launch, 2014
Raised on ballet and jazz music, the FKA twigs moved from the borough of Cheltenham to London at the age of 17 to study dance. There she booked dance gigs for bands like Kylie Minogue and Jessie J, before shifting her focus to dance and music. In 2012, the singer launched her first extended play, EP1, followed by his first full album, LP1, in 2014. Both received critical acclaim for their clean production and groundbreaking blend of avant-garde pop, trip-hop and R&B tropes. At the time, twigs’ style was as dark, minimalist and eclectic as his musical output. Riding the GHE20G0TH1K wave of the time, the singer wore a mix of activewear, lingerie, and fetish gear. Think lacerated jumpsuits, ring neck, massive platforms and custom sets designed by Creepyeha. Here, at a launch party for one of his favorite brands, Nike, twigs wears a translucent tracksuit and strappy bra that perfectly epitomizes her early career look.
Photo by Ian Gavan/Getty Images
At the Brit Awards, 2015
With all the critical acclaim that followed LP1, twigs brought her healthy goth look to the red carpet. At the Mercury Prize ceremony, the singer wore a cut out track dress and thigh high boots. And, here at the BRIT Awards, she donned a beaded Alexander McQueen dress that was reminiscent of her strappy stage costumes.
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At Coachella, 2015
At Coachella in 2015, twigs flipped the script of her predominantly gothic style in a series of ethereal and angelic looks, like this crystal-encrusted white set designed by longtime collaborator Creepyeha.
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At the Met Gala, 2015
In 2015, Twigs attended her first Met Gala in an unconventional iteration of the nude dress. Designed by Christopher Kane, the “lovers’ lace” dress depicted a tangle of nude figures, genitals and all, as the media claimed to point out. The dress was a viral hit and marked the start of Twigs and Kane friendship, and a long-standing collaborative relationship. Later that year, the singer wore one of the Scottish designer’s SS16 looks to snag the British fashion innovator award. And in 2017, twigs was front row at Kane’s Spring/Summer 2018 show wearing one of her sequined dresses.
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Show at the Parklife Festival, 2015
During her 2015 festival run, Twigs removed activewear from her wardrobe and introduced workwear into her lingerie look with jeans, bomber jackets and this Canadian tuxedo designed by Faustine Steinmetz.
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At the MTV VMAs, 2015
An early proponent of the lingerie-as-outerwear movement, in 2015 Twigs stepped out on the infamous VMAs red carpet in what but a corseted version of the nude dress.
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At the Met Gala, 2016
In 2016, twigs returned to the Met Gala red carpet. The exhibition of the year was Manus x Machina and the singer accessorized her Versace gown appropriately with a collection of hardware and a web of temporary tattoos. Not only was the outfit very thematic, but it spoke to the current twig style, a maximalist set of embellishments including body chains, headdresses, sequined shell belts and of course, her signature septum piercing.
Photo by Neil Mockford/GC Images
At London Fashion Week, 2017
During the break between 2016’s “Good to Love” and 2019’s “Cellophane,” the singer took to the streets of New York and London Fashion Week, respectively, wearing a series of delightfully remixed looks, including this Edwardian-meets-Gaultier-meets-Matrix outfit.
Photo by George Pimentel/Getty Images
At the Sundance Film Festival, 2019
Of course, twigs were at the forefront of the corset revival in 2020. In early 2019, the singer wore one of Vivenne Westwood’s iconic Francois Boucher corsets at the Sundance Film Festival. The look went viral on Instagram and prompted Twigs to unveil the rest of her extensive Westwood corset collection in the fifth issue of his digital zine, AVANTgarden. The singer’s corseted new style offered a glimpse of her next Magdalene era, which was characterized by a “baroque and romantic” look, according to stylist Matthew Josephs. Think pile of pearl jewelry, feathered hats, prairie dresses, bloomers and even more corsets, including a healthy Gothic iteration by Burberry.
In the video “Cellophane”, 2019
Between 2016 and 2019, Twigs began learning pole dancing, training two grueling hours a day to achieve the vision she had for his video “Cellophane”. While she said it was “one of the hardest things [she’d] never done”, his trainer, Kelly Yvonne, praises the singer as a “pole dancing prodigy”. To showcase her hard-earned pole dancing technique, designer Ed Marler crafted a bespoke gold lingerie set reminiscent of the singer’s early career looks.
Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for MTV
At the MTV VMAs, 2019
In 2019, twigs brought him Magdalene style on the notorious red carpet of the VMAs in a spectacular and scintillating way. The look, also designed by Ed, featured a rhinestone minidress and tapestry cape that fused Tudor-era aesthetics with Y2K attire.
Show on Jools Holland, 2019
After the release of her second album in early November, twigs performed on Later… with Jools Holland wearing a wetlook dress made by Greek designer Di Petsa. According to the designer, the wetlook series explores the idea of ”feminine wetness” and the female form in its most natural states. The gaze captured at once innocents[ce]” found in the twigs “Home with You” video and the divine feminine energy that runs throughout Magdalene.
Photo by Frazer Harrison/Getty Images for The Recording Academy
At the Grammys, 2020
Twigs went completely baroque at the 2020 Grammys — where she was nominated for “Cellophane” — in a custom corseted gown by Ed Marler. In addition to bloomers and gold bikinis, the singer Magdalene the style was characterized by a series of similar larger-than-life dresses, including a dress inspired by Aubrey Beardsley worn to play on fall on and this crystalline Valentino number increased to the FW20 fashion show of the house.
Photo by Neil P. Mockford/Getty Images
At the NME Awards, 2020
In 2020, twigs dipped her toe in the Y2K pond with this NME Awards outfit. The singer completed her favorite Edwardian-Gaultier look with a big fuzzy hat, reminiscent of Pamela Anderson’s iconic 1999 VMAs moment.
Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage
At the premiere of King’s Man, 2021
After appearing at the NME Awards, Twigs dove headfirst into 2021’s Y2K trend by sporty pink and lime green, ready for the club numbers by Ottolinger and Supriya Lele, Roberto Cavalli Archives and this hooded jersey dress that reminded 2000s Kylie Minogue.
Teasing his new mixtape, Caprisongs, 2022
If his recent social media activity is any indication, it looks like the next twig Caprisongs will be his most eclectic to date. Musically, we have already been given an excerpt from next reggaeton song and a tracklist of various collaborators from Shygirl to The Weeknd. And the outfits that accompany it are just as disparate: angora sweaters combined with hoop skirts and plaid kilts with cloud tops. Looks like Twigs are continuing to live up to their title as pop music’s leader fashion innovator.