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Get To Know Banks: Her Music, Style, and Love of Chanel

In the December issue of InStyle, on newsstands and available for digital download now, Karl Lagerfeld’s resort collection for Chanel finds its match in Banks, the mercurial muse of a spare, new R&B vibe. She provides the soundtrack to a richly textured world, and he creates the stunning wardrobe you wear when you get there. The following is an excerpt from her feature.

How funny for an artist based in sunny Los Angeles, Banks is drawn to shadowy, solitary places. Not that the 26-year-old musician doesn’t love the spotlight. “Onstage,” she says, “I am the purest form of me, the me-est me, without any other voices dimming who I am.” One of a new breed of R&B singers, Banks, née Jillian Banks, writes visceral ballads that hang loosely on spare beats. Though it took a decade of toiling in obscurity to hone her début album, Goddess, garnered the kind of critical and popular reception worth waiting for when it was released this fall. “I was patient with myself,” says Banks. “By the time I started recording, the atmosphere was there in my head.” She describes her personal ozone as “moody, honest, and nocturnal.”

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Not surprisingly, nightfall also informs her fashion sensibility. “I like wearing a lot of black. Not just for the darkness of it,” she says. “Black is powerful.” Of course, here, dressed in the Chanel resort 2015 collection, she is less Maleficent and more Madeline. Karl Lagerfeld’s streak of brightness—evident in his densely patterned and ornately textured suits, tops, and dresses—is irresistible even to the most saturnine. “It is an exquisite collection,” says Banks cheerfully. “After all, Chanel is every girl’s dream and favorite thing in the world.”

For Banks’s full feature and to find out the five songs that shaped her, pick up the December issue of InStyle, on newsstands and available for digital download now.

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