Dua Lipa doesn’t shop much. Yes, you read that correctly. During an intimate conversation with Edward Enninful at Vogue’s Forces of Fashion event, the pop superstar revealed she’s not much of a retail hawk. If this might seem something of a bombshell from a woman who switches It-bags every week, consider the amount of brands clamouring to dress Dua. Yes, she admits, she gets to keep the fresh-off-the-runway looks and emerging designer pieces, all curated by her stylist Lorenzo Posocco, but her current preoccupation, like many of her twenty-something peers, is archiving.
With a world tour’s worth of custom looks by Balenciaga, Versace and Mugler currently making their way to Australia for the final leg of Future Nostalgia performances, Dua is totting up quite the catalogue of custom creations. Her new John Galliano-era Dior boots and vintage Thierry Mugler leather dress are her current obsessions, however, as she and Posocco, who always look at retro runway moments and work out how they can apply elements to her current image (see Lipa’s Vivienne Westwood Brits 2021 look for how fashion’s iconography plays out on a new-gen fashion plate), prepare themselves for Dua’s next chapter.
With her third album in the pipeline (she’s pleased with how it’s going, thank you very much) and her cultural concierge newsletter, Service 95, to nurture, Lipa’s next phase as a multi-faceted businesswoman (she’s also considering a book club, FYI) has already seen her style shift somewhat. Of course the gen-Z It-girl is not immune to the slinky ’90s-esque ’fits of Knwls, Masha Popova and Luar, but she’s developed an eye for new-season pieces that are more classic than modern.
Take her Forces of Fashion look, for example. Lipa’s black strapless top and suit trousers are from Ferragamo – one of the industry’s most-watched brands of the moment – but had you not recognised the sheer circular bust detailing as the work of Maximilian Davis, the smart separates could have been from any number of houses – past or present. Her Louboutin Hot Chick sling-backs were another marker of someone who understands what investment pieces look like.
Other recent timeless fashion wins include the Clooney Foundation for Justice Awards, which saw Lipa eschew micro hemlines, sheer fabrications and cut-outs – the predominant uniform of her age group – for a black Versace gown with the brand’s signature gold studs punctuating the straps. With her hair swept back in an up ’do, the mood was more Audrey Hepburn than chart-topping performer. A predilection for grungy, gothic pieces, thanks to a love of Burberry and Balenciaga, ensures that other all-black looks are never more than a few days from her feed.
Lipa says that the secret to executing her wardrobe evolutions with conviction is down to her relationship with Posocco. The pair has grown up together and “speak the same language”. They know when to dial up the drama and engage full pop glam (hello Mugler catsuits) and when to pull back and let her personality do the talking (catch up on all the Forces action here), but either way, they never do anything by halves. Enninful’s favourite trait about his friend came via Lipa’s father, who once told Edward that when his daughter commits to something, she never backs out. Her Vogue shoots, which have seen her pose in 100mph winds in front of the White Cliffs of Dover and morph into a Marilyn-inspired pin-up, confirm this is true. While anyone who follows her personal style closely via Instagram will tell you she’s an all or nothing girl