Sound & Vision: Those Darlins

June 2011

What do you get when you put a packed rack of clothes, a dozen or so awesome pairs of shoes and boots, and four of Nashville’s most sartorially adventurous rock stars in the same room? A dang good time.

Those Darlins, who released their second album, Screws Get Loose, (Ohwowdang) earlier this year, have never been afraid to have fun with their clothes. In addition to the jeans, Chuck Taylor high-tops, and threadbare T-shirt trifecta that makes up the unofficial uniform of indie bands nationwide, their private wardrobes are packed with stage clothes dotted with look-at-me details like zippers, sequins, studs, rhinestones and fringe. It helps that each member of the Murfreesboro-based band fully recognizes that their on-duty look is an important part of the group’s overall image, which is equal parts retro quirk and modern punk with some Porter-era Opry flash thrown in for good measure.

“The bands that we think are most interesting to watch are the ones that have a complete vision,” says Linwood Regensburg, the Darlins’ drummer and sole male. “Who they are is in their sound, and their clothes, and even in the way they move. It all fits together.”

Jessi Darlin, who shares vocal duties and swaps instruments with two co-front women, Kelley Darlin and Nikki Darlin, says their look gets challenged from time to time. “We’ve gone on photo shoots where the stylists tell us, ‘Oh, I’ll make you look like you’ve never looked before’,” she says. “But that misses the point: the thing that makes bands special is when they have their own thing going on.”

Cool looks aside, the Darlins know that in the end, it all comes down to the music. They believe that a good band with a bad look can ultimately be successful, but don’t think it can work the other way around. “You’re not going to take a band seriously if they only look good,” says Nikki.

For sure, the Darlins have both sound and vision working in their favor.
One afternoon, Her turned the Darlins loose in a room filled with an array of clothes, shoes and accessories borrowed from some of Nashville’s premiere boutiques. We asked them to combine these with their own favorite pieces to create a new stage look. Behold the results!

Nikki Darlin wears a gold sparkle top Son of John gold sequined top, $275 at Posh; Drusy cuff bracelets with geodes, $950 and $875, at H. Audrey; and her own high-waist shorts, fishnet tights and pumps.

Linwood Regensburg wears Billy Reid ticking striped pants, $195; ADIDAS striped plastic belt, $7.99 at UAL; and his own shirt, vest and shoes.

Jessi Darlin wears a Lanvin red pleated top with side zipper, Marni satin pumps, Victorian perfume bottle charm necklace, and “diamond” stretch bracelets, $1,268, $648, $568, and $298, respectively, at Jamie; Resin red jeans, $178 at H. Audrey; and vintage faux leopard print belt, $40 at Diamond Star Halo Vintage.

Kelley Darlin wears an Elizabeth & James white leather mini skirt, $594 at H. Audrey; a gold metal “punk” bracelet, $228 at Jamie; vintage Todd Oldham satin boots from Diamond Star Halo Vintage Private Collection; and her own top, tights and necklace.

Photographer: Jude Ferrara
Models: Those Darlins
Jillian Doherty
Hair: Candice Nightingale and Amy Kyser at Candice Nightingale of BombShells Hair Studio, Murfreesboro TN 615-907-8004
Art Director: Heather Pierce
Special Thanks to: Houston Station and Events Nashville, LLC., 615.289.7225, for the use of their location

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