Photographed by Terry Richardson
On if she changed in the past few years: "I'm actually not very different at all. I work all day, do research, sketch my ideas, prepare for performances. My experience with fame has been the opposite: "How can I stop this from changing me?" I mean I'm not broke anymore—that's good! But today I'm more comfortable with being who I am. When I was younger, I felt pressure to become someone else once I became successful. But it's the intention of the work that's changed. I have fans now. I have a new purpose: to remind them that I am one of them, that we are one another. My consciousness has changed."
On her favourite outfit of all time: "Audrey Hepburn at the derby in My Fair Lady—the giant white hat with flower detail and bonnet, a mermaid lace gown with a giant bow, and a walking stick. I've loved that since I was little. I'll design something like that one day."
On the biggest thing she has learned about herself so far: "I became very depressed at the end of 2013. I was exhausted fighting people off. I couldn’t even feel my own heartbeat. I was angry, cynical, and had this deep sadness like an anchor dragging everywhere I go. I just didn’t feel like fighting anymore. I didn’t feel like standing up for myself one more time—to one more person who lied to me. But January 1, I woke up, started crying again, and I looked in the mirror and said, “I know you don’t want to fight. I know you think you can’t, but you’ve done this before. I know it hurts, but you won’t survive this depression.” I really felt like I was dying—my light completely out. I said to myself, “Whatever is left in there, even just one light molecule, you will find it and make it multiply. You have to for you. You have to for your music. You have to for your fans and your family.” Depression doesn’t take away your talents—it just makes them harder to find. But I always find it. I learned that my sadness never destroyed what was great about me. You just have to go back to that greatness, find that one little light that’s left. I’m lucky I found one little glimmer stored away."
On what she is better at now than when she was younger: "I am better with food. I don’t have an eating disorder anymore. I’m also better at not letting people take advantage of me. Five years ago, when I spotted someone with a hidden agenda, I allowed them to stay around me. I didn’t want to believe it. I thought if I ignored it, then they would eventually see me again—that I’m a human being and not a doll. But it doesn’t work that way. I speak up now. I realized that it’s my own fault that people take advantage. I should be around people who cherish my talents, my health, my time. I’m not a pawn for anyone’s future business. I’m an artist. I deserve better than to be loyal to people who only believe in me because I make money."