Noelle McCarthy: Loving Lorde

By Noelle McCarthy

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Amber D, M.A.C Senior Artist, and Lorde in the M.A.C store in Britomart. Picture / Rene Vaile
Amber D, M.A.C Senior Artist, and Lorde in the M.A.C store in Britomart. Picture / Rene Vaile

God, Lorde's great, isn't she? I've been a little bit in love with her ever since she said she knows she's a "spreadsheet with hair" to record executives.

Great line, and what hair it is. Like a mermaid's. My mother used to say I could have lovely long hair if only I'd leave it alone. I didn't. Lorde is cleverer than me in this respect, as well as many others. It's not only that she's obviously talented and naturally funny. She's also been smart enough, and brave enough, to take the biggest risk of all: that of being herself while becoming a superstar. She's a teenager who wrote songs about how boring it is to be a teenager in Devonport, and then danced like a T-Rex on Letterman while she sang them.

Off-stage, the moves have been as memorable. She called out a paparazzo on Twitter, and consistently refuses to be objectified in photoshoots. She has firm ideas about how much of her people are entitled to see and this is reflected in her clothing, mostly. I've seen her in a crop top recently, but that's about the extent of it. In general, she tends towards full-coverage and leaves the see-through to RiRi and the rest of them.

Her dresses are jaw-droppingly dramatic affairs, by the likes of McQueen, Balenciaga, and Zambesi.

Not that she can't deploy white to good effect when she feels like it. She may be the single best proponent of monochrome among her generation. The medieval hair and those dark silhouettes sometimes make her look like she should be in Game of Thrones or The Tudors, which is about as ringing an endorsement of her style choices as can be offered. She will not be seen in assless chaps in our lifetime. I love the quiet certainty with which I can write this.

There's much to love about Lorde in general. I hope she keeps on being herself, and keeps becoming more so. Her Grammy face alone gives me hope for the future. In an era of faked-for-the camera sincerity, and manufactured emotion, what a cool thing it was to watch a teenager on stage, puffing her cheeks out like a hamster at the enormity of what was happening to her.

And what a good surprise it was to find my Instagram full of her this morning. There she was, standing next to her new makeup range for M.A.C, looking even prettier than she is on the poster, and later on a couch, waiting to talk to journalists, smiling smiling away like the ultimate un-diva.

Best of all, is seeing Lorde on Beresford St in Auckland, outside Johnny Feedback. Say what you will about the corrosive effects of the celebrity worship in our culture, I still got a little kick out of seeing that one of the biggest pop stars in the world goes to the same cafe as I do.

- VIVA

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