Some people have the ability to stick in your mind from the moment you meet them.
Chantell Moody is definitely one of those people – with a wild mane, an evolved sense of style, and a vibrant personality that seamlessly coordinates with her outward appearance.
I really enjoy the street-ninja-goth style.
– Chantelle Moody
Not only is Chantell dedicated to creating a look for herself that is both completely comfortable and wholeheartedly unique, but her passionate personality has branched out into many other creative arenas, including music. In the past few years since I first met Chantell at Austin Psych Fest, I’ve seen her pop up in fashion photos, in commercials, on the stage, and on the radio. Lead singer of The Digital Wild and part of the new duo Ft. Hood, Chantell has let her musical wings fly, attracting crowds of fans mesmerized by her free-spirited stage presence. It’s this ability to outwardly express your creative visions and passions to the world that keeps people wanting more, and this girl’s doing it.
When did you start playing music and what made you start?
I started collecting tapes of music when I was pretty young. I loved making mix tapes from my radio, and I would wait by it for my favorite songs to come on so that I could hit record.
I started playing music when I was 9 years old in orchestra where I played the violin. My parents also had me sing in the church choir, which I wasn’t really a fan of, but it kept me out of trouble. I was also very active within a variety of dance classes. Dance and music have always been high on my priority list.
Describe your personal style and tell our readers a little bit about how you view yourself and your style.
My style changes with my mood. My last name isn’t Moody for nothing. Hah! The recent change of season has me into darker colors at the moment, and I really enjoy dark monochromatic outfits with interesting details – details that play with interesting cuts and negative space.
Lately, I’ve been working on becoming more of a minimalist and have gotten rid of half of my wardrobe to simplify. Comfort is extremely important! You will never catch me in shoes that are uncomfortable. The health of my feet are very important to me since I am a dancer as well… I need these babies to work well for a long time!
Where did you grow up and where are some different places you have lived/traveled to that had an impact on you? Do you think any of those places affected your style?
I grew up in Des Moines, Iowa and moved to Austin a little over 3 years ago.
I was pretty bored with mall shopping in Iowa so I dove into thrifting pretty hard in high school. My grandmother was big on thrifting, so I suppose she passed that on to me. I found really amazing clothes in thrift and vintage stores that really excited me. It became an obsession in my teenage years.
I’ve done a lot of traveling this year while touring with my band The Digital Wild. I was really inspired while playing in New York City. The fashion there was so interesting and inspiring.
Who or what are your fashion influences?
I get a lot of inspiration from anime and video games. My two brothers make concept art and create really interesting characters in their paintings. I think their characters have some of the most amazing clothes I have ever seen. I really enjoy the street-ninja-goth style. It’s fun, interesting, and comfortable since the fabrics usually slouch and breathe well.
Do you dress differently in your day-to-day life than you do while performing and if so, how/why?
The majority of my days are spent wearing athletic gear since I am usually working on dancing, acro, flexibility, and attending fitness classes. My performance gear is usually a bit more elaborate than my day-to-day clothes.
Did you dress the way you do now before you were in a band or does the music you play in any way influence your current style?
I am always reinventing my style. I think the evolution of my style and music can go hand-in-hand. I am always learning and trying new things. If I start feeling bored, I know it’s time to switch something up.
Where does most of your clothing come from and what are some of your favorite places to shop?
I get most my clothes from vintage stores…shout out to Blue Velvet on North Loop!
Buffalo Exchange is also really amazing. I’m all about recycling clothes and having clothing swap parties. I enjoy finding random threads while I am traveling, though I don’t seek it out much anymore. I am really picky about what I buy these days. I feel it’s better to have several items you really love than to have a ridiculous amount of clothes you think are okay. I like to keep it simple and pick out clothing I can mix and match.
What is your favorite accessory?
My holster purse.
What/who are some of your favorite brands/designers?
John Fluevog and Robocrunk.
Could you give some tips to our readers on how to achieve style like yours?
Wear what makes you happy.
The Digital Wild
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Photography: Shelley Neuman