Musicians at Home | Lia Ices
Monday, July 9th, 2012
By Jennifer Hamblett
Photos by Emilano Granado
Ethereal songstress Lia Ices is currently seeking urban refuge and creative indulgence at Roberta Flack’s idyllic farmhouse in the Hudson Valley. Since moving to the legend’s Upstate New York home a few months ago, she has created serene spaces in which to work; the perfect blank canvas to experiment with pushing the boundaries of music and fashion. Her intimate songs have a strength and power that is reflected in her sense of style. Her voice, like her look, can be soft and elegant one moment and edgy the next. Ices can carry off a silk jumpsuit on stage as well as she wears red-lipstick and an old Nirvana t-shirt at the grocery store. What’s crucial, she says, is experimentation and allowing her intuition and feelings to decide.
As a musician and performer, how important is personal style to you?
It’s an extension of the artwork, it’s another really important and fun way of self-expression and it keeps evolving like my writing. It always comes up: How much do I make it a costume? How much do I make it myself? I always like when there is some sort of dichotomy with what I am wearing, even just a body suit under overalls, something that is not sexy but that feels really good to me. It’s the same in the music. I feel much more powerful when there are more layers rather than just one direct thing.
How would you describe your style?
I would say architectural hippie. I really like architectural shape. I really like vintage hats and shape and jewelry and bracelets and how that affects my body when I’m singing. I often seek out bangles and bracelets in all shapes and sizes. It changes your body, built up on your arms and makes a sound when you move. I think it’s fun to decorate yourself and I’m giving into that. Having that aspect align with who I am is just as important as the music.
What was your earliest memory of dressing up?
My grandfather took me to Paris when I was 12 and I got this red felt hat that looked like a Parisian school girl and I had never seen anything like it and it was a little piece of the world that I didn’t know existed.
Do you have a favorite piece of clothing or object?
I have this raw silk indigo dyed cape or shawl that I love. It’s really dramatic. After I got it as a present I started researching indigo dye and the cultural meanings and history of the process. It’s a totally spiritual process and there are layers and layers to its meaning and history. I’m also interested in colors and their meanings, what being surrounded by a color actually does for you. Indigo is supposed to bring out your intuitive self and that’s where the phrase “out of the blue” came from because you would be so involved in yourself.