It's been over three years since I talked about one of my greatest sartorial muses, Grimes. I'm not in any position to talk about or critique the music, but rather I thought I would act as a kind of beacon and signal that her new album, Art Angels just dropped. There are various reviews about it online already which you can read or you can listen to the whole thing and make up your own mind about it. Aside from the creation of this album, Boucher has also made appearances on various pop culture/ fashion magazines (notable POP and Dazed & Confused) as well as at Dior in July this year, before Raf Simons announced his resignation from the house. She also recently took over the Guggenheim with Dior, in the one party of the year I regret not going to (FYI I was never invited, but still). She's kept up with the fast-paced and often fickle world of fashion but given a number of revealing interviews, which I highly recommend reading if you haven't done so already.
Part of the reason why it's been such a long time between studio albums is halfway through the making of her second album, Boucher started all over again. In a move which probably surprised many, it's something which will probably resonate with perfectionists. Speaking as someone with a background in academia, there have been a number of times where I've finished an essay but wanted to throw it all out and start over again. In the back of my mind I knew the work would be similar, but the tone would be much better. In a weird way it is like writing a first draft, but instead of making revisions the best move you can make is to start all over again with some new ideas. Hearing Boucher talk about how this process vastly improved the work which followed is fascinating to anyone who has to articulate and execute an idea. It's obvious that she feels more positive about Art Angels as a result, but more importantly talks to other artists about the trial and error process. Not creating great art the first time you try seems inevitable, but is rarely addressed.
Unlike a lot of pop culture icons (mainly bloggers or musicians), Grimes has been able to retain the quirk and charm of DIY upon which she built an empire. In many of the editorials in which Boucher features many of the pieces she's wearing are high fashion (e.g. head to toe Miu Miu) but the styling isn't too dissimilar from that of earlier in her career. Across music production and the way she dresses, Grimes has continued to maintain control, which hasn't always been easy since misogyny is somewhat ingrained in the music industry especially. She expands upon this during her interview with The Fader, but the bottom line is that despite starting from scratch she isn't given credit in technical work and is often told to step away from the equipment. It's not something that is talked about within mainstream media, and I'm sure there are other female artists who have found themselves in similar situations, lost for words but furious at the outright sexism.
Continually striving for perfection, despite it being a largely unattainable ideal has really driven Grimes to refine her music production. It can be all-consuming, and at times, interfere with self-care but is necessary in order to stay relevant. In many ways, it's part of her continued success. Being able to explore different facets of herself and explore different mediums (as evidenced by creating her own album artwork) is possibly what keeps her sane. Aside from intellectualizing pop stardom and analyzing her relationship with high fashion I've also been enjoying all the makeup looks from Boucher's recent editorials and her penchant for Farrah Fawcett hair. I keep harping on about makeup inspiration without employing them in my day to day life and outfits, but that's largely due to forgetfulness and a limited eye shadow palette. It's only a matter of time before I make my eyeliner bigger and bolder than ever before but also attempt some wicked layering of holey dresses while wearing black lace something underneath.