INTERVIEW BY AUTUMN DE WILDE & CHARLIE FINK
PHOTOGRAPHY BY AUTUMN DE WILDE
ART DIRECTION BY LUCY MOLES
STYLING BY DAVID NOLAN
GROOMING BY ALISON BUTLER
AUTUMN DE WILDE—You’re both incredibly well dressed. How did that happen?
CHARLIE FINK—That’s something I think has always come naturally to Charles but something I like to think I’ve developed over the last few years – it’s not always been so easy for me. One of the things I think is annoying nowadays for a musician is that you spend all this time creating a look through styling and taking these immaculate photos with people like yourself [Autumn] and then you go online and it’s full of photos someone’s taking on an iPhone of you falling out of a venue after a gig looking awful. How does that affect your work Autumn?
ADW—I think I’m trying to protect the fantasy of whatever world you guys have created with your music. There’s nothing wrong with seeing the real side of things but it seems to be overpowering the fantasy a little bit and I think I would like to see a little more balance. I was going to ask Charles, in building the fantasy that goes along with your music what are some of the influences you draw from?
KING CHARLES—There’s always been very little that’s inspired me, but it’s inspired me really heavily and it started with cowboys, watching Tombstone. I wanted to be Doc Holliday, and I’d go out dressed like a cowboy everywhere. I didn’t really know that much about fashion – I didn’t really know that much about anything – but I wanted to look like those guys. Then I got more into formal dress and wearing classic English garments like suits and tails, but it’s bloody expensive to emulate that, so I was always trying to get away with whatever I could get away with. Whatever I could do to impress girls was pretty much the starting point of getting dressed.
ADW—Dressing like a proper dandy is a very expensive endeavor, but I actually really like it when it’s almost there and it blends with other influences. Charlie, you also have a lot of filmic influences for your music and the band’s style.
CF —There’s been a lot of discovery across this album cycle and finding a look and a feel for the band. We made an album that was our most American influenced record. And I think a consequence of doing that and touring the world and hanging out with you [Autumn], is I’ve now got a real desire to do something incredibly English or something that connects with that, so I’ve been watching a lot of David Lean movies and the Brideshead Revisited TV series. The style in that is absolutely amazing.
ADW—It’s unbelievable. The lighting in Brideshead Revisited is incredible. And speaking of that show, this question feels like it relates a little… Charles, will you talk about when you saw that painting that inspired you, the one that was coincidentally on the cover of your copy of The Picture of Dorian Gray?
KC—I went to Scotland with my parents to visit Lord and Lady Dalhousie who have this massive castle in the Highlands. They were showing us around, and showing us the different paintings of their family that went back to the 1100s or something ridiculous. In the dining room I stumbled across a painting by John Sargent of Lord Dalhousie’s grandfather. He’d come back from holiday in Egypt and had his portrait painted and it’s magnificent. I’ve always been in love with Oscar Wilde’s Dorian Gray and it blew my mind seeing this thing in the flesh. I got a suit made to look exactly like his. Ivory-colored, double-breasted, and I look even better than he does.
CF —Who is your tailor?
KC—My tailor is a man called Joshua Byrne of Byrne & Burge. He’s an amazing guy and amazing tailor. He doesn’t just make you clothes, he believes in the relationship between the tailor and his client. And he’s been to every one of my single launches since he first made me a suit. He works by word of mouth and never lets me say anything to magazines.
CF —When you do interviews and someone asks you, “What advice would you give to a band starting out?” you should say, “Always have a good relationship with your tailor.” I think it’s an important thing for new bands to realize.
KC—It is. You’ve got to look good, you can’t just sound good.
(Excerpt from Issue 05)
More — www.kingcharles-music.com
Enjoy more of this on thelabmagazine.com, coming summer 2012!