The get-up that goes behind concealing a dance music artist's identity — think Deadmau5 and Marshmello — can sometimes feel a little bit, uh, extra. (Daft Punk is an exception, obviously, since their sartorial choice of mystery are actually very chic helmets.) For Los Angeles-based singer and producer Elohim, her attempt at anonymity is a lot more subtle: a pair of sunglasses, an all-black medical face mask or, usually, a chunky swoop of raven-hued hair falling across her face. The elusiveness is effortless, much like her music, which seamlessly toes the line between euphoric electropop ("The Wave," "Half Love") and moody instrumentals ("Silence Is Cool," "Why Am I Like This?").
Elohim's music roots stem from her classical training since childhood. (Her parents gifted her with a piano at the age of five.) When it came to making the switch to electronic music, Elohim attributes it to the first time she heard Radiohead. "It was as if my ears heard all these sounds they hadn't heard before," Elohim tells Fashionista. "My senses were ignited with this inspiration and intrigue to explore more avant-garde sounds."
The musician released her first singles — "She Talks Too Much" and "Xanax” — in 2015, followed by a debut EP in 2016. In April of this year, she released her self-titled, full-length album and since then, she's been on the road for her own headlining tour, as well as a slew of stops on the summer music festival circuit. In the fall, she'll be back at it all over again alongside The Glitch Mob for their North American tour.
During a brief break from performing, we asked Elohim some questions — over email, we should disclose, to keep up with her anonymity — about her very specific personal style, how fashion helps conceal her identity and her go-to beauty routine. Read on to learn more.
How would you describe your personal style?
If Helmut Lang met Sarah Connor in "Terminator 2" and dressed her. That might be what I look like on any given day.
You clearly have a distinct look and color palette; how did you develop your fashion aesthetic?
I don't really plan it out or think too much about it. I just let my style and taste naturally evolve and develop as I acquire new pieces. I really like timeless clothing that is always classic and beautiful looking. Black pants are great for that.
Do you look to anyone or anything for inspiration when it comes to getting dressed?
I look to myself and how I'm feeling that day. Sometimes if I'm planning a video or proper photo shoot, I will go on Pinterest and make boards. I really love doing that. You can find such amazing stuff and always keep discovering more on there.
Since you're known to conceal your identity as an artist, how does fashion come into play?
Fashion plays a big part in concealing my identity. Being anonymous adds a fun challenge when deciding on outfits and sets, which I'm a big fan of. I love that it's a mission to find unique and artistic ways to have a beautiful photo while still maintaining my anonymity. My hair is a big part of it but finding cool accessories or clothes or props that I can use in a different way is really exciting.
What brands are you really into right now?
I am a big fan of Helmut Lang. I also really love boots from Alexander McQueen and Saint Laurent. Another brand I recently discovered is Reformation. Their clothing is so comfortable and fits beautifully.
How do you get dressed for when you perform?
I have a bunch of versions of the same thing. I quickly realized it makes traveling and touring much easier to have planned outfits for the stage. Keeping it similar makes me always feel ready to play once I put those clothes on. It's a costume or uniform and gets me in the space of "It's go time."
I have also found wearing semi-loose, yet perfectly fitted slack-style pants have been incredible for performing. I dance a lot in my show; I play keyboards; I sing. Having a one-woman show takes a lot and I have to be comfortable while looking fly.
What's your favorite outfit to wear?
I usually wear black men's trousers with a belt or high-wasted bike shorts, a bra and some chains. I also have two pairs of Iro pants that I rotate through during performances. I like to wear solid combat boots while I perform. I finally found my dream boot with this Stuart Weitzman patent leather pair. They make me feel strong.
What's your beauty routine like?
I've always been obsessed with skin because I struggled with what routine was right for mine. This might sound crazy, but the common thread I found between all of the people I asked with perfect skin was, "I don't use face wash. I just use water and pat my skin with a clean towel." That always frustrated me, so I finally tried it and I can say my skin has never been better. It's wild.
I will say that I don't wear much makeup and that is probably a huge part in my clear, clean skin. During the day I wear Kiehl's Skin Tone Correcting & Beautifying BB Cream Sunscreen. It's tinted, so that's my makeup. I usually put eyelashes on and this amazing translucent powder. I try to always keep my lips hydrated, too. That's about it.
At night, I wash off my face with water and put a soothing eye cream from Eminence under my eyes. It is easy and so effective. Less is more. Clean, beautiful faces are wonderful.
You've been spending the summer at a number of music festivals, what are some fashion items that you constantly keep with you while on the road?
I love having a few pair of nice sweatpants with me. My favorites are from Nike and Pleasures. Being on planes, buses, cars and just hanging out before and after shows, I always want to be as comfortable as possible while still looking presentable. I wear boys' Calvin Klein briefs with sweats and I am happy. Plus, you can pair sweats with nice boots and a leather jacket and you are good to go.
This interview has been edited for clarity.
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