Wet Dream Stylist: Nayeli De Alba on “Hard Rain”

When it rains, it pours! So many of y’all loved the eloquent styling in Lykke Li’s video featured in the Style the Beat series. I reached out to Nayeli De Alba, the Hard Rain co-stylist, for a blitz interview. Hailing from Guadalajara, her wondrous touch is evident in some of the coolest editorials in Mexico, the US and elsewhere in the Post-Paris world. Oh, and she’s got a swaggerlicious NDA BELT line of belts-belts-belts. (Re)watch the video and get to know Nayeli!

“Lykke Li’s soundscape is layered in longing and rejection. Hauntingly styled, this story plays out in shapes and textures that appear at once absorbent and reflective: you can see yourself therein before it all is swallowed whole.” – Style the Beat.

How is music video styling different from other types of styling projects?

Nayeli: In the process of styling music videos you have to think deeper into the mind of the characters. You have to be in their shoes. Then you translate the vision of the director adding your own touch.

Nayeli De Alba
Nayeli De Alba by Alberto Newton for Revista192.com

What’s it like collaborating with another stylist instead of working solo?

Nayeli: I started the creative process with the director Anton Tammi. When I got his mood board and understood the spirit of the video, I felt I had to do it right away! After planning the styles for the different scenes, we simplified the essence of the single with more focus on just the couple. From there, we worked together but separately: Karolyn Pho styled Lykke Li and I styled Moley Talhaoui. To contrast his character, I chose easy-going summer looks with vintage pieces and his own clothing.

MoleyT
Moley Talhaoui by Andreas Öhlund & Maria Therese for Café Magazine

Side note:Moley Talhaoui is a hot (and getting hotter ‘n hotter) Moroccan-Swedish artist worth discovering right-the-f*ck-now!

What is your favorite look from the Hard Rain video?

Nayeli: The look of the last scene with the white tank top, green open shirt and blue Adidas pants and sandals. I think it is one of my favorite looks.

Here is why Style the Beat loves it, too… This look plays with codes of domesticity and toxic masculinity; the white invoking both innocence and white knuckles of abuse. It appears early on when the couple acquires a goldfish in a plastic bag which becomes a striking visual metaphor for the impossibility of shared intimacy in this relationship.

Whose styling work made you go wow-now recently?

Nayeli: Currently, I love the work of Ib Kamara and Akeem Smith as big inspiration. I keep an eye on Kristin Lee Moolman because his perception is uncommon and beyond.

Coda: during an interview with the Mexico Fashion Film Festival in 2017, Nayeli weighed in on the question whether fashion film is a legit new(ish) genre or just a media trend. “It is a genre, absolutely. For me, fashion film is an expression that naturally conveys a mood or an idea. It is a more direct way to reach the viewer.” Well, her work certainly reached and moved y’all and I! Looking forward to her next project?! Follow Nayeli de Alba on Instagram so you too can “smile with style”.

Meanwhile, the new Lykke Li album keeps shredding my heart into tangy coleslaw with So Sad So Sexy and Better Alone. Been there, done that, can’t wait for the videos!

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