“I always have my shirt off in this joking/not joking/joking frontman way,” says Matthew “Matty” Healy of English rock band The 1975 on his look in the band’s video for “Love Me,” the opening track of the band’s sophomore album, I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It, due out on February 26. “We decided no shirt was the best way to go—no shirt and leather trousers.” While it might seem like a cliché, that’s exactly the point Healy is trying to make. “If we’re going for the garish rock star who’s bought into his own self-constructed kind of mythology, then that’s kind of the outfit.”
Despite the singer’s penchant for going bare-chested, the band’s latest video, for the song “UGH!” features a nod to modern English fashion courtesy of a designer favorite, Jonathan Anderson. “I’m wearing 90 percent J.W.Anderson, as I’ve gotten obsessed with him lately,” says Healy. The video features plenty of bold colors punctuated by the band dressed in biker jackets, striped knits, and turtlenecks. “I love what [Anderson] is doing at Loewe,” Healy continues. “There’s a modern but ’70s vibe to that range with all the high-neck zip-ups.” However, that look, according to Healy, is owned by fellow bandmate Ross MacDonald. “On the last tour, Ross developed an alter ego, the Chatenoogan—like an English version of Ron Burgundy—and he transformed into him whenever he put on a turtleneck. Then he realized turtlenecks worked for him.”
As for Healy himself, more often than not you can catch him wearing the same thing from morning until night. “As much as I love my fashion, I also love my clothes being clean,” he says, “and if you’re doing two or three outfits a day, that’s a nightmare.” He tends to sport black jeans by Acne (“the girl’s boy-style jeans”), Alexander Wang, and Nudie, punctuated by Chelsea boots for a look that he describes as “gothic pied piper.” But the rocker’s latest sartorial addition might seem like a given. “I’ve only started wearing trainers onstage recently and it liberated my life,” says Healy. “It opened up a new world—how much movement it gives you. I just spent three years on tour. You learn loads of things.”
And it seems that the band will be back at it stateside starting in April, but not before stopping by Saturday Night Live this week. Any hints as to the stage look? Naturally Healy’s response is enigmatic—and none too serious: “I’ve decided rock ’n’ roll is whatever I designate it to be.”
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