FASHION

An Unofficial Ranking of Róisín Murphy’s Over-the-Top, Avant-Garde Stage Looks

Over more than two decades on stage, Irish art pop pioneer Róisín Murphy has cultivated not only a repertoire of danceable hits, but also an enviable wardrobe of hats, masks, cloaks, and dresses. Her roaming eye for fashion adds another dimension to her performances; her costumes—include frequent changes throughout her set—are as much a part of the show as anything else. She wears extra appendages, extra faces, animal familiars sprouting from her bodice. Often brightly hued and always avant garde, Murphy’s looks have also evolved with each successive album, from the experimental Overpowered phase to her latest effort, Take Her Up to Monto, whose look (hard hats and utilitarian workwear) was inspired in part by the predominantly Irish workers—”navvys,” as they’re known—helping to construct London’s constant architectural growth. This weekend, Murphy will return to American shores once more, playing in the three-day Pride Island festival alongside Tegan & Sara, Years & Years, Patti LaBelle, and more. On this occasion, and to celebrate Pride month, we rank a few of Murphy’s most extravagant, ostentatious looks—looks you’d be well-advised to channel for Pride. You, like Murphy, might even stand a chance of upstaging Bella Hadid.

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  1. This Oden Wilson two-piece ensemble, which Murphy wore for the 2009 Life Ball, gets bonus points for originality: an ankle-skimming overcoat layered over a jacket in the same fabric, worn backwards to give the illusion that it’s a dress.
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  1. If you’re going to fascinator, it had better be neon, à la Murphy playing at the Roundhouse in London, May 2015.
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  1. Skip the color entirely and go instead for textures—Murphy couldn’t go wrong at the 2016 Sziget Festival in black-on-black fringe, silk, and a bonnet. The sunglasses certainly don’t hurt—more ’80s Madame Butterfly than Lady Gaga.
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  1. Channel your inner Pierette or Pierot in color-blocked stretch pants and an an extra bold ruff collar. A flying saucer hat never hurt, either, as Murphy demonstrated perfoming in Manchester, England, November 2008.
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  1. A neon cloche pairs well with anything—including pinstripes and a sculptural cloak with one or two arms, depending on your mood. At her Eventim Apollo performance, Murphy wore it both ways.
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  1. A cone-shaped tulle cape makes even more of a statement when paired with jeans and pumps. Murphy stole the show during her performance at Viktor & Rolf’s Spring 2010 ready-to-wear show in Paris, France.
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  1. Róisín Murphy, the literal woman in the moon, added another example of her superb eye for headwear at the BBC 6 Music Festival in Bristol, England, February 2016.
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  1. You never know when an extra claw and an extra head might come in handy—even when the claw’s on your head and the head is that of a dog. Pair with jeans for a more casual, daytime look, à la Murphy at the Mansion, New York, October 2008.
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  1. Though beaked masks were once an ominous accessory worn primarily by doctors treating plague patients circa 1700, Murphy proved during a performance in Berlin, Germany, in November 2015, particularly long-nosed versions of the mask can also make a chic accessory.
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  1. Animal-inspired accessories never go out of style, and work even better when layered. See, for example, Murphy’s feather mask, perched on her forehead, and her capelet of raccoon tails, worn during the Torhout-Werchter Festival in Belgium, March 2004.
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  1. Three times the mask, three times the Pride. This is the ultimate Murphy look to channel for this weekend’s Pride festivities, first worn at her appearance at the Goldea The Roman Night celebration for the new Bulgari fragrance—alongside Bella Hadid—in Rome, Italy, May 2017.