W Magazine: Vince Staples, Madame Gandhi, Mitski, and More Inimitable Musicians Explain Their Singular Personal Style

By Karin Nelson for W Magazine 

With their eclectic sound and individual style, today’s rising musical stars can’t be easily cataloged. And that’s just fine with them: “Fluidity is key,” as the 21-year-old breakthrough artist Kweku Collins explained. Wphotographed Collins in Chicago at this summer’s Pitchfork Music Festival, along with Vince Staples, Francis Starlite, Mitski, Clementine Creevey of Cherry Glazerr, Vagabon, and Madame Gandhi, all of whom were as particular and singular about their personal style as their music. Here, these 7 artists explain what makes them them—down to the sock

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Madame Gandhi


“Punk rock can come from anywhere,” says Kiran Gandhi, whose first public act of rebellion came in the spring of 2015, when she ran the London Marathon with menstrual blood seeping through her leggings. The “free-bleed” incident garnered worldwide attention, and Gandhi, who attended ­Harvard Business School while also touring as a drummer with M.I.A, decided to use it as a platform for women’s issues. “It gave me a megaphone in a way that I could never have anticipated,” says the 28-year-old New York native, who ultimately picked up a mike and became Madame Gandhi. Her debut EP, Voices, released last year, features dreamy, drum-heavy tracks filled with messages of female empowerment. “Do the work to know yourself—and then express yourself” is a mantra that Gandhi seems to wear on her sleeve. “I love to dress in the fire colors of the sun: red, yellow, orange, gold,” she says. Much of her clothing is by the young artist and designer Leah Ball, and from the shop Otherwild. And you’ll never spot her in a pair of heels. “I wear sneakers and comfortable shoes because I have to run around and play the drums, and carry them!” she says. “You can’t be debilitated on your own stage—no one will take you seriously.”

Gandhi wears a Fenty Puma by Rihanna coat; Altuzarra sweater; Emporio Armani pants; Prada shoes.