Coco captured by Mert & Marcus for Love Magazine in 2009. Those eyes!
Fashion Editor at Large and Fashion Junior have this week realised we have developed a significant style crush on Miss Coco Sumner, who you will already know to be a key player in the London scene, lead singer of I Blame Coco, and the daughter of some old bloke called Sting (but we don't mention that part).
There have been rumblings of interest about this singer/songwriter for a while, and her striking look first came to our attention in a Burberry campaign last year:
That's Coco in the middle. Doesn't she scrub up nice? Photo by Mario Testino
However, this talented 19 year old is not content with a life in front of a camera. She is carving out a musical career with her band I Blame Coco and recently played the first in a string of summer festival dates. Sumner's unusual, husky voice (some of that musical DNA helps!) blends with 80's influenced electro-pop-rock, which makes for a very distinctive sound. However, where her music may stem from influences 30 years old, her fashion sense is fresh, new and very much her own.
In true fashion speak, her style would probably be described as a grunge-preppy hybrid, but basically, she is a bit of a tomboy. Rarely seen with makeup (aside from the statutory rock n'roll eyeliner), her hair is a tangled mess of dark, natural curls that infer she has been on a beach all day - you get the impression Coco doesn't do 'high maintenence'. Whatever the outfit or occasion, she loves to cover up with a big hoodie/parka/wax jacket, and is a big fan of the new Barbour styles we posted about recently.
Red carpet event? Forget couture, Coco cracks out the wax jacket!
This is also a girl that doesn't do heels, and she is amassing a pretty impressive collection of vintage ankle boots, Doc Martens and Church's brogues (also the Fashion Ed's favourite, she has increased her collection from one to three pairs in the last month). Her style may be more on the scruffy side of casual, but she chooses strong, classic pieces with a masculine feel. Her super slender frame allows her to carry off tougher, over sized looks whilst still looking elfish and feminine.
Coco (and her scarf) perform at Glastonbury last weekend
One key Coco piece is the woolly scarf, preferably of the type worn by public schoolboys, draped casually round her neck come rain or shine (she was even rocking one in the 90 degree heat at Glastonbury!). This makes a very refreshing change from the usual Afghan scarf/pendant combo still seen on many festival goers, with the added bonus of making her easy to spot in a crowd. She also favours a classic, plain button down shirt, which continues the androgynous theme but is pretty chic at the same time.
Fashion Editor at Large is wearing an almost identical outfit today. Spooky
It is extremely rare to spy Coco in any form of skirt, and she wears the recent mannish trouser trend with aplomb. Comfort and practicality obviously factor heavily in her outfit choices, but at the tender age of 19, she is already impressing us with her unique and innate style. Everything about her fashion sense exudes self confidence and an assured manner beyond her years. If nothing else, these straight talking, directional looks compliment her dynamic songwriting, which if the hype about her debut album 'The Constant' is to be believed, is where her true talent lies.
Watch Coco's latest video for single Selfmachine (available to download from the 11th July)
**UPDATE** Funnily enough, just a few hours after we had posted this, I had the pleasure of witnessing Coco perform up close at the Lula/Harvey Nichols dinner yesterday evening (more to follow on that). She was just as beautiful in the flesh, wearing the same outfit that she had performed in at Glastonbury, and super tiny - she is a proper waif. She performed brilliantly and sounded even better live than on the radio, which is no mean feat! A genuinely talented, unique character.
Coco before she performed at the Lula/Harvey Nichols dinner - that's some attitude!
(Images: Love magazine, Burberry/Mario Testino, Rex Features)