Harley Weir


Charli XCX's Stylist Pulled 18 Racks Of Clothing To Dress 14 It Girls For The "360" Music Video

Chris Horan talks to NYLON about dressing pop’s favorite reference in “strong and bitchy” looks and working on the music video that still has the internet talking.

by Kevin LeBlanc

I’ll admit it: I’m obsessed with Charli XCX. She calls on her fans to do just that in “Von Dutch,” the lead single off her upcoming sixth album Brat, imploring: “It’s OK to just admit that you’re obsessed with me.” I don’t think we can be blamed: the album rollout has taken the internet by storm. Charli is firing on all cylinders with instantly headline-grabbing and dancefloor-shaking singles like “360” and “Club Classics,” alongside excellent remixes, music videos, and a much-talked-about Boiler Room set. It’s all perfectly timed to create hype around the album release, and to boot, her style has never been better. She’s always served looks, but since stylist Chris Horan joined her team in 2021, it’s been Next Level Charli (pun intended).

Horan is a celebrity stylist based in Los Angeles and known for his show-stopping looks seen on the likes of Hari Nef, Barbie Ferreira, Shania Twain, Christina Aguilera, and many more. He, alongside creative director Imogene Strauss and photographer Terrence O’Connor, is part of Charli’s team that helps push her from ideation to execution. The clothing in the initial rollout imagery photographed by Harley Weir immediately set the album’s mood: a white Saint Laurent baby tee, a simple tan sweater, a gauzy knit, a decadent leather jacket. There’s a marked lack of color, pattern, and texture, letting her personality do the talking. It’s deceptively simple, subtly sexy, and unabashedly high fashion. Even her street style is head-to-toe designer and gives off the bitchiest energy — in the best way possible.

Charli can elevate a simple look because, as Horan avows, “I don't know how else to say it, but she's the cool girl and that's what sells a lot of it. It's not necessarily anything groundbreaking, but it's in the Charli XCX way.” As she deadpans in “360,” “No style, I can't relate / I'll always be the one.” The music video for the song is a runway fashion highlight reel, with 14 different It Girls including Julia Fox, Gabbriette, Chloë Sevigny, and Rachel Sennott wearing Courrèges, Marni, Vaquera, Saint Laurent, KNWLS... the list is endless. NYLON called up Horan to talk about that “overwhelming” two-day shoot, plus what the style Bible entails for Charli’s upcoming tours, including Sweat with Troye Sivan.

In Saint LaurentHarley Weir
In MarniHarley Weir
In Helmut Lang and CormioHarley Weir
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What were some of the earliest briefs for the creative direction of Brat?

[Charli] played me the first song in November 2022, but it really started when she played us the demo of “Von Dutch” when she did Coachella [in 2023]. It immediately locked in the vibe. We were all like, “Oh my God, this has to be the first single,” because it was so different from Crash. Then we all started talking about it being rave culture. What does that look like? I think everything should be a little bit f*cked up, not ever perfect. Charli knew early on that she wanted the cover to be no pictures, only text. We all were up in arms at first, but it was the most genius thing. She had the color and everything already down. We selfishly wanted to do pictures because we want a hot shoot, which we still got; the single covers have those.

There were different words that Imogene or Terry [photographer Terrence O’Connor] would bring to the table. For example, when we were thinking about what the space would look like environmentally, it was a lot of concrete, brutalist things. [Charli] had these concepts already built in her head and we ran with it. We went to Charli's house a few times and we each brought a hundred printed-out references and started grouping them together. It was fun because it's less high stakes when it's not like, “We are doing an album cover in three weeks.” It was more free-styling and feeling out the tone and what makes sense. We created a master deck of all of our favorite references and then we started being like, “this is the Bible.”

Also, one of the most amazing parts of working with Charli is that I'm not afraid to say anything ever, no matter how crazy the idea. A lot of times in my career with projects, even if it's a really amazing relationship, I don't necessarily feel the comfort. That [comfort] breeds the best results. All of us on the team felt like we can be fearless with each other. I think it's the healthiest creative environment.

This year, she’s been wearing a lot of Marni. How's working with their team been?

Firstly, they made her Coachella look last year. They basically said, “tell us what you need or what the ideas are, we're down to work with you and make it what you guys want.” They sent back this beautiful proposal deck with all these insane references. It was the most thoughtful approach that any brand had sent us. Working with them throughout that process was so easy and pleasant, so I thought we should work with them more. I think Francisco [Risso]’s collections just keep getting stronger and stronger and stronger. I feel like that was an easy choice for us to lean into a little bit more. I also think Marni as a brand mirrors the Charli XCX ethos too, in a sense. It has a little bit of an off quality to it. Marni's sort of an outlier of the fashion houses, and I think it’s very representative of Charli and I think it matched up together.

It's mainstream for people like us, but my mom might not know what Marni is. That's where Charli sits too.

Yeah, that’s exactly it. I've never actually drawn that conclusion until now, but it makes so much sense.

It’s Marni, Baby!

At The Brit AwardsSamir Hussein/WireImage/Getty Images
At the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy GalaROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images
At The Met GalaJohn Shearer/WireImage/Getty Images
At The Après Met 2 Met Gala After PartyWWD/WWD/Getty Images
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It encapsulates her style now and where it's going. She’s also worn a lot of Saint Laurent, which was a pleasant surprise, especially in the “Von Dutch” video.

Saint Laurent and Marni are my two go-tos, personally. The thing about the Saint Laurent is that, and this was a discussion that Charli and I had, it's the next chapter of her saying, “I'm an adult and I want to dress like an adult.” Obviously, a bitchy adult, the Charli XCX adult. She said, “I'm 31 years old, I need to up my game,” which I was so excited about. I basically redid her personal wardrobe. We did one fitting and made different variations with these new pieces. A lot of it was The Row and Saint Laurent. Charli said that it unlocked the shopping in her mind, and now she shops the Phoebe Philo drops every time... but back to the Saint Laurent. We really love the leathers. It's also a little bit sexy, but simple. We wanted things to be really distinct, but not necessarily so loud as far as the color or pattern. It was simplicity that still felt really strong and bitchy.

It’s bitchy but also rich. That Saint Laurent jumpsuit she wore in the “360” video was so major, and it did feel like a grown-up version of her. Tell me about shooting that video.

I can finally talk about it, I haven't said this to anyone! The video was shot for two days, the day after the Oscars and the following day because that was when a lot of the guest cameos were in town. I remember her manager telling me and me being like, “you're joking,” because I have other clients and that's a very busy week. We did every single person in that video, at least all the famous girls we did, minus Emma [Chamberlain]. It was pretty insane. We had an entire wardrobe trailer, like what they do for films. There were floor-to-ceiling double-layered racks. It was crazy. We must have had 18 racks full of things.

How was the energy on set? I mean, you said you cried, so I'm sure it was a little chaotic.

I didn't cry about everything going on, this project was actually amazing. I would cry because I was overwhelmed. My plan of attack was going on their Instagram and picking three of my favorite photos, and trying to make them feel like that. Charli had said this too: “I want them all to feel like they're getting everything they want.” We looked at their personal style and tried to go above and beyond for them so that they felt hot and bitchy, and not like they're playing a watered-down version of themselves. We had a very thoughtful selection for each of them, it wasn't like everyone's wearing the same thing.

The energy was amazing. And those girls on set, they were all just hanging out. Terry got so many incredible TikToks. The vibe was really good and everyone was excited. I think even on set, they could tell how good it was going to be. And obviously Chloë Sevigny is a huge, massive win. That's a bucket-list moment for me as a stylist. I'm so happy I got to work with her.

That's the dream for any stylist. To me, she has the same mindset as Charli in a way. She really gets it, and anything she wears is instantly elevated because of her. It doesn't matter what it is, and it never feels wrong, even if it is ugly. It's intentional.

Exactly. You don't second-guess them because they won't wear something that doesn't feel like them. I can't put Charli in something and be like, “Just trust me.” That just doesn't happen. Those girls don't walk out in things that they're not selling. They're feeling it, they're projecting it, they're killing it.

“I think why all of these contemporaries want the Charli essence is that she is a one of one. It's a lot about her attitude and just the way she is.”

Charli’s doing a small run of shows this summer, and then you’re getting into Sweat. How has that process been and what can we look forward to?

For tour, we don't have a Bible for that yet that says what we're doing. But I think Primavera is a good example, and so is [BBC] Radio One weekend. I think people can expect to see a lot more flowy elements, that softer vibe will continue. I want to dole out the fashion and give the brands that have been so loyal to us their moment. She likes a lot of movement-y pieces, so I'm trying to marry all of the favorites from a few of the recent things we've done. I do love shine and sparkle on stage, and that's the one thing I'm workshopping. How do we do this in the fashion-y, expensive way? When you're on stage, it looks so good when things are really slick looking. Whether it's black glossy, or an expensive-looking crystal, as long as it doesn't look cheesy. I want to figure out a way to add dimension to it.

In custom Dilara Findikoglu at Primavera Sound Henry Radcliffe
In Balenciaga in CannesChristian Vierig/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
In Saint Laurent and Sacai in New YorkRaymond Hall/GC Images/Getty Images
In R13 in New YorkGotham/GC Images/Getty Images
In custom Givenchy at the Vanity Fair Oscars partySteve Granitz/FilmMagic/Getty Images
In vintage Mugler at The Billboard Women in Music AwardsAmy Sussman/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images
In Eckhaus Latta and Acne Studios in New York.Raymond Hall/GC Images/Getty Images
In Y/Project at the Warner Music Group Pre-Grammy PartySteven Simione/WireImage/Getty Images
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