untitledAlison Sudol, age 24, is the leader of A Fine Frenzy, which she introduced to the world with the 2007 album One Cell In The Sea. The project established her as one of the most talented young singers and songwriters around: it received rave reviews and reached Number One on Billboard’s “Heatseeker” charts. But with the follow-up, Bomb in a Birdcage, Alison Sudol is most certainly revealing another side of A Fine Frenzy.

While the album retains the tuneful charm and whimsical language of the debut, it adds new colors and textures, with louder guitars and beats that sometimes veer into New Wave-y dance territory. QueensOfVintage.com has met up with Alison to chat about her amazing vintage style, her first novel and how being “pale as a snowball’s arse” can be quite good in LA.

Lena Weber for QueensOfVintage: You’ve got fantastic style – part Ophelia part Rita Hayworth – who are your style icons and how have they influenced the way you dress?

Alison Sudol: Ooh! What a lovely combination! Thank you! There have been so many stylish women throughout the years, and the more research I do, the more I find. I love Marianne Faitfull, Jane Birkin, Edie Sedgwick, Diane Keaton, Coco Chanel, the Rolling Stones, Katherine Hepburn, ballerinas, sailors, old notebooks… there are so many, I’m definitely forgetting a lot of people.

I look at what they wore and think, hmmm… that’s interesting. I’m never going to look like that, but maybe I can try my own take on it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. My style is definitely a work in progress, but I must admit, I do enjoy it quite a bit. Clothes are fun!

QoV:  You are so not the typical LA blonde, super-styled beach babe (and we mean this as a huge compliment!). How come?untitled

Alison Sudol: Haha, thank you very much. I think it’s a combination of necessity and choice. Growing up, I simply could not tan, and I never really looked like anyone around. I always looked at the girls with their glowing tans and super-American features, and they always looked so confident and fun, and there I was, looking vaguely foreign without belonging to any sort of ethnic group, and pale as a snowball’s arse, and shy to book…

I wanted to be like them, but I knew I never would, so finally I realized that I might as well go with the flow and work with what I had. It’s an incredibly liberating thing when you decide that you actually love being who you are, and that there is a lot of beauty in that… far more than just looking like everyone else.

QoV: Your red hair is utterly fab, are you a natural red head? Lots of our readers are deliberating going red, would you recommend it?

Alison Sudol: Thank you! Well, I try not to give away hair secrets, but all I can say is, if you’re planning on going red, it’s much easier if your hair is naturally lighter (unless you want a really dark, rich auburn), and that it’s a big commitment… but it’s pretty much the best thing ever, if you do make the leap.

QoV: Do you ever wear vintage? If so, where do you shop for it?

Alison Sudol: I do! I love vintage boots, which I tend to pick up in random vintage shoe stores all over the word. I have pairs from Charlottesville, NY, Hamburg… I also love vintage hats- I got a great little fedora in Minnesota that I wear all the time. I used to wear a lot more vintage dresses, but now my style has changed a bit and I tend to dress in more modern clothes with a vintage feel. However, every now and then I’ll find a gem, and wear it till it falls apart.

Read on!

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6 Responses

  1. Kiri

    She sounds delightful. I’m going to go try to find some of her music and stuff right now. 🙂

  2. Kiri

    Thanks to you at Queens of Vintage I just spent my birthday iTunes cards on both her albums. She definately has a new fan!

  3. Eva

    I love Ali! She’s coming out with a new album pretty soon. 🙂 So excited!

  4. jenny

    What do u mean u don’t want to give away hair secrets? You’re either a natural red or you’re not… and knowing you’re a natural blonde, most people just want to know the color you tell your stylist to mimic when you get your hair done… it’s not a secret, it’s science… we just want to know what color to tell our stylists to strive for … thanks

  5. Victoria

    I love Ali and her music is so sweet! I’m a huge fan of hers.
    To get her hair color you just need a good hair stylist. My natural hair is dark brown, but I dyed it with super intense red and it looks very natural on me. You just have to think if you want that and look for the right professional 🙂