Most stylish New Yorkers: Oh Land

The Danish musician channels Edward Scissorhands, Bowie and Grace Coddington.

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  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    "I take something very ordinary, like a T-shirt, and make it look unique with some accessories," says the musician of her rocker-meets-ballerina ensemble.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    Oh Land strung two pearl necklaces from Topshop together to form this body harness. "I like to find things that are very affordable and make them look like an expensive design," she explains.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    A gold, two-fingered matchstick ring by Miss Bibi (missbibi.com) adds a subtle, harder edge to the look.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    "These shoes feel like ballet pointe shoes with a rock twist," explains Oh Land of her Opening Ceremony footwear. "These are my ballet boots!"

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    A chain-link Sophie Bille Brahe (sophiebillebrahe.com) earring represents "glamour meets punk"---particularly in contrast with Oh Land's '60s-inspired nude makeup from Chanel.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    Oh Land dons this structural bodysuit by Wackerhaus (wackerhaus.dk) when she especially wants to feel like a bird.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    "These shoes remind me of wearing ice skates," the singer says of her Acne booties.

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    "I feel like this outfit is very Charlie Chaplin," Oh Land enthuses of her Wackerhaus trousers and body stocking. "It's also the type of thing I would wear while traveling, or during a long day in the recording studio."

  • Photograph: Zenith Richards

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    Christian Joy designed this cape specifically for the video for Oh Land's song "Sun of a Gun." "The pattern is inspired by an ancient Egyptian sun symbol," she says.

Photograph: Zenith Richards

OhLand1

"I take something very ordinary, like a T-shirt, and make it look unique with some accessories," says the musician of her rocker-meets-ballerina ensemble.

Oh Land, 25, musician (ohlandmusic.com), Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Her personal style: "I'm really inspired by the clash between nature and civilization, but I also want it to be futuristic, to have an edge that's more electronic. I like things that remind me of another reality. I like things that have a little bit of humor and are playful. I don't dress to try to look a certain way or have a certain look. I dress to have fun, and make myself laugh."

Her inspiration: "I'm very much into visual arts, and a big influence in my life has been Tim Burton. He combines things that are very beautiful, dark and twisted. Edward Scissorhands is the perfect example: It's this pastel-colored city and this weird dark goth person with scissors as hands. That really speaks to me."

Her style icon: "David Bowie. I love the Ziggy Stardust period. I love how he played with the androgyny. My sister has also been a big influence on my style. When I was ten years old, she would bring back magazines from England that you couldn't get in Denmark. I was the only girl in my school who, at ten, knew what Prada was. It was quite geeky."

Her NYC fashion hero: "I love Grace Coddington from Vogue. What I love about her style and the way she styles is it's also about telling stories. It's not just clothes for the clothes, it's using clothes as a language."

On her multisensory approach to songwriting: "I grew up in a family that was very creative. My mom was an opera singer, and she was singing at the Royal Opera House. I would come with her and be around all these fun characters in the theater world. I would spend my childhood playing dress-up, and seeing the ballet dancers in their tutus. It was a very visual world. Playing dress-up was my daily life. So it's a very natural thing for me to incorporate that in the music, because I grew up with storytelling, telling stories both with music and with pictures. That's what I do now also. What I do now is not very far from what I did as a kid. Now there's just more people watching."

On how her background as a ballet dancer affected her style: "I guess I was always more attracted to the more quirky roles and quirky parts in plays. I wanted to be the troll, I never wanted to be the princess. As a dancer, you always wear really tight clothes, and it's kind of about always trying to be beautiful. I got bored of that ultrafeminine style. At the same time I have a big love for it—it's a love-hate thing. It got me in the end, it was too much with all the pink and powder. That's what I do with my music now—I make my own rules instead of trying to live out somebody else's vision. That's the change from dance to music that I love so much. I make my own little world now."

On the Black Swan ballerina trend: "It's a very distinct kind of dollhouse style. I think what's interesting about that world is that it has a really eerie, dark side as well, that you see in the movie. All the hard work it takes to be a dancer isn't pretty. I like the torn tutus and the cracked, broken-toe shoes. I think it's an interesting aesthetic, but it's also a clichd one."

Favorite stores: "I've definitely gotten more American Apparel (various locations, visit americanapparel.com for info)! [Laughs] We don't have that in Denmark. What I really love in Williamsburg are all these little vintage shops. I love finding one-of-a-kind pieces. I love Fille de Joie (197 Grand St between Bedford and Driggs Aves, Williamsburg, Brooklyn; 718-599-3525), which has everything from lamps, purses, hats to furs. I love Opening Ceremony (33--35 Howard St between Broadway and Lafayette St; 212-219-2688, openingceremony.us). I like to pair things from there with vintage things."

Her signature item: "I always wear really tall shoes, like wedges. The bigger the better. You can wear the cheapest, ugliest clothes if you have amazing shoes. I like capes, because they remind me of birds. Anything that has an element of fantasy. That's what I do in my music. I tell stories that are in my life and wrap them into fables."

How her style has evolved: "I've always experimented with style, since I was a little kid. Sometimes I looked horrible and sometimes it was successful. It takes a lot of experimenting to know what your taste is. I think everybody has a phase where they look ridiculous, and I've definitely had a few of those! The older I get, the more I know what I like and what I don't like. But I just keep seeing it as fun, and something I want to play with."

HEAR HER MUSIC! Oh Land performs at Terminal 5 (610 W 56th St at Eleventh Ave; 212-260-4700, terminal5nyc.com; 8pm; $26--$32) on March 8. Click here to preorder Oh Land's self-titled album for $5, which comes with a free, instant download of her first single, "Sun of a Gun."

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