Voices of Style
Everyone who knows me is aware that The Voice is my absolute favorite competition show. The heartwarming performances and stunning vocals never cease to amaze me, not to mention the killer outfits that go hand in hand with the solos and duets that are televised. I was so thrilled to be able to exclusively interview some of The Voice alumni from Season13 for my blog (Shi’Ann Jones, Moriah Formica, Hannah Mrozak, Karli Webster, Emily Luther, Whitney Fenimore, and Sophia Bollman) as well as the winner of Season10, Alisan Porter. Pardon me if I sound a little star struck…
How did you come to audition for The Voice?
Shi’Ann: I submitted a thirty-two second video to NBC The Voice Snapchat (it was their first season to ever do this) and I was chosen by Alicia Keys to be her pick for the finals. Although I was one of the top four, I didn’t win Then, I was asked to come and audition for Season 13. I came to LA to sing before the show executives and then a few months later, I was invited to the Blind Auditions. Jennifer Hudson turned her chair on the first note and eventually, I made it to the Top Ten Live Show!
Whitney: I had auditioned for The Voice back in 2011 and didn't even come close to getting a shot to be on the show. I also auditioned for American Idol a couple of times and had got a no from them as well. I was pretty burnt out on hearing "no". I got an opportunity to audition for The Voice again at the beginning of 2017 and I decided maybe I would audition just one more time. I took the chance and I'm so glad I did!
Karli: I was always super focused on going to school and working (I was a barista at Starbucks, like forever). Finally, I decided I've got nothing to lose by auditioning, I mean, worst case they didn't like me and I went home. I actually decided my song choices on the way there (Jolene by Dolly Parton and The Story by Brandi Carlile)... I was super unprepared, but it ended up being one of the greatest opportunities of my life so far!
Hannah: [Season 1] was my third time auditioning. I had always been a fan of the show but I had never made it past the first few rounds of auditions until this past year.
Sophia: Third time was the charm for me.
Moriah: I auditioned for the show in NYC in February. I sang three songs then answered a bunch of questions. I guess they liked me because they called me back a few weeks later and asked if I wanted to be a part of the show!
Emily: A friend of mine from Berklee appeared on Season 11 of The Voice and gave me a call in July of 2016. She knew about my experiences in the industry already and my hesitation to move forward but felt this would be a great fit. I’m glad I listened to her and submitted my video!
Alisan, did you ever imagine that you would end up winning the show?
Alisan: It’s actually so random! A friend gave my name to one of the casting people because she was the girlfriend of his wedding photographer! He told me at a gig and I kind of laughed it off, but then the next week I was at the audition!
Did you choose your own outfits for the show or did the producers?
Alisan: I had a lot of influence on my looks during the show. But also had amazing stylists helping--the wardrobe department became like my second family!
Hannah: I would usually pick out 3 outfits that I liked and we would send them over to the executive producers and they would ultimately pick out the outfit I would wear.
Karli: We had to create style boards of what we were interested in. Through this, the stylists got to know us and our fashion dreams and made them come true.
Emily: On my style board, I had a mix of Stevie Nicks, Annie Lennox, and even some Cara Delevingne. I wanted a chic, sophisticated look with a bohemian flair.
Karli: Miley was also extremely involved in what her team wore on stage--she created themes for the Battle round and would plan song choices around what our looks were.
Was there a particular look of yours that stood out?
Emily: My fully-beaded royal blue dress that I wore to sing “Send My Love (To Your New Lover)” was one of the most beautiful pieces I’ve ever had the privilege to wear. The wardrobe team pulled it out of my rack as an option and I just about passed out. It probably weighed 50 pounds but it made me feel like a queen!
Shi’Ann: I loved my look for my “Diamonds” performance. There were diamonds all over the dress with a touch of leather. I even got my hair straightened instead of leaving it curly! Yeah, definitely my favorite look.
Karli: I sang a very dreamy song, "Blue Bayou," and had the opportunity to wear a look my stylist put together that I referred to as "the vintage angel" look. It was an all-white look with hand-dyed tights and a gorgeous rough-cut short dress with the craziest bell sleeves. I also had the most incredible gold and silver heels, with a matching gold and silver butterfly in my frizzed-out hair.
Whitney: My favorite look was during the Knockout round. I had on suspenders and a great hat! I felt in my element.
Alisan: I think my all-time favorite was the dress I wore to sing “Let Him Fly”. It was magical and felt like it was made for me and for that performance.
Sophia: For me, my favorite was this red romper paired with stunning with red shoes, a red ribbon belt, and red pumps. It just made me feel spicy!
Hannah: I loved my “Love On the Brain” outfit, specifically the classiness and the mix of textures. The silk pants and the velvet bodysuit went so nicely together.
Do you think your style evolved at all during the show?
Hannah: My style definitely evolved into a more sporty chic look. I started out a little more preppy and girly but as I moved on, my songs got more emotional so my outfits evolved to match them.
Alisan: I think I stayed pretty true to my boho chic ways. But I definitely got to play a lot. I love fashion and clothes and makeup and hair soooooo much. Like, maybe even as much as singing.
Whitney: I think I got a little more comfortable with wearing different outfits as the show progressed. I was a little out of my element at first, but then I ended up loving getting to wear things I normally wouldn't have felt comfortable wearing onstage. The show gave me a bit of a new confidence as far as my wardrobe goes!
Emily: I was always afraid to show my legs onstage and wear heels--the wardrobe team gave me solutions. Booty shorts underneath, stable heels…what more can a girl ask for? They were amazing!
Moriah: The show definitely made me feel more comfortable with makeup. Before the show, I rarely ever wore makeup, but ever since, I do almost every day!
Were you inspired by your coach’s style at all?
Shi’Ann: Honestly, I wasn’t. I saw Jennifer [Hudson] as my coach and my role model. Jennifer is what makes her Jennifer, and she looks great!
Alisan: [Christina Aguilera and I] had pretty different styles but what I love about her is she can literally pull off any look and I’ve felt more empowered lately to try new things.
Emily: [My coach] Adam has this calm and cool vibe going on and his wardrobe fits that. He combines style and comfort and I’m the same way.
Whitney: Adam was also one of my coaches for the duration of the show. I love his style--he always looks so effortlessly cool.
Sophia: Miley was my coach. Her style is a work of art. She puts so much thought into everything she wears and does the same for her team.
Karli: Miley is unapologetically herself and that's extremely inspirational to me. I can definitely see similarities between our fashion tastes, so it was really neat to be able to talk fashion with her and freak out over some of the incredible outfits that she picked out for me.
Do you feel that fashion is an important part of your performance?
Shi’Ann: It really is. Fashion shows the character of who you are and how you want to look. It speaks volumes. People see your fashion before your performance.
Hannah: Fashion is a huge part of my performances. Just like the music, my outfits and style are a great way of expressing myself. They help me get into different characters.
Sophia: Not to sound silly, but when I’m on stage, I turn into Sophia, the rock star, and the outfits help me feel that way.
Alisan: I literally can’t even walk on stage until I feel like my look is on point!
Whitney: Fashion and music go hand in hand. You gotta dress the part.
Moriah: It’s another way to express yourself along with the music.
Karli: For smaller shows, I actually liked to keep fashion extremely simple and just focus on the music. But for full band shows, I loved to have more fun and really show off my personality through my fashion choices. It creates a more entertaining experience and honestly, wearing a killer outfit hypes me up so much! It's almost crazy how much your clothing can influence you.
How did your hair and makeup reflect your personality on the show, as well as the song you were singing?
Moriah: My makeup was always more on the natural side with a little bit of edge to reflect who I am.
Hannah: I loved my hair and makeup to be dramatic and eye-popping but also very clean and sharp. I don’t shy away from who I am and neither does my hair or makeup.
Karli: I wanted America to see who I really am, which often meant lots of purple eyeliner and butterflies in my hair. It's almost theatrical the way hair and makeup can impact a musical performance!
Whitney: Hair and makeup were so fun! I normally hate doing my hair, but the hair and makeup crew work miracles! I never wear my hair natural, which is curly. I wanted to try and do some fun "Tori Kelly-esque" hair looks on the show and the hair crew was able to nail it! I felt more comfortable than I ever have with my hair curly because it was totally,100% me.
Follow The Girls on Instagram:
Alisan Porter: @iam_alisanporter
Shi'Ann Jones: @shiannjonesofficial
Hannah Mrozak: @hannahmrozak
Whitney Fenimore: @whitneyfenimore
Emily Luther: @emilyluthermusic
Sophia Bollman: @sophiabollman
Moriah Formica: @moriahformica
Karli Webster: @karliwebstermusic