Christine & The Queens

by Cecilia Latiolais

christine-queens_ioulex_2068830.jpg

CHANEL top and cuffs, KENZO pants, and PRADA socks.

christine-queens_ioulex_2068929.jpg

CHANEL top and cuffs, KENZO pants, and PRADA socks.

christine-queens_ioulex_2069022.jpg

THOM BROWNE jacket, shirt, pants, and shoes.

christine-queens_ioulex_2069208.jpg

3.1 PHLLIP LIM jumpsuit and HERMÈS gloves.

christine-queens_ioulex_3047428.jpg

THOM BROWNE jacket, shirt, pants, and shoes.

christine-queens_ioulex_3047575.jpg

KENZO shirt and pants and CALVIN KLEIN bra.

christine-queens_ioulex_3047614.jpg

3.1 PHLLIP LIM jumpsuit and HERMÈS gloves.

christine-queens_ioulex_3047624.jpg

3.1 PHLLIP LIM jumpsuit and HERMÈS gloves.

christine-queens_ioulex_3047710.jpg

3.1 PHLLIP LIM jumpsuit and HERMÈS gloves.

Christine & The Queens

"You can’t fight your nature when you’re dancing: you have to embrace it and, actually, the more I’ve been dancing, the more I’ve been accepting my own energy.”

Héloïse Letissier says of the genesis of her alter-ego Christine: “No one gives me enough space to be me, so creating Christine was almost like an anger being projected into a character. I can be myself more on stage, because I can decide what are the codes. I’m trying to escape the rules in everyday life!” But despite such assertions, anger is not what is conveyed. (Regarding “The Queens:” a theraputic visit to London resulted in Letissier being taken in by three trans women who became her backup band in the early days.)

The music of Christine & The Queens is pure unfettered pop, a genre Letissier considers efficient because of its catchiness. The formula of a pop song works to her advantage; it allows her to operate within something recognizable while twisting the rules enough that it becomes startling and distinct.

Not only an international pop star in-the-making, Letissier is also one hell of dancer. “I can’t sing without moving,” she says. “When I stand still I don’t know how to do it anymore. Another way to perform a song is to have it go through my body. You can’t fight your nature when you’re dancing: you have to embrace it and, actually, the more I’ve been dancing, the more I’ve been accepting my own energy.” Dance not only allows her freedom of body, but also a freedom from labels in that dance can’t be pinned down with words—in trying to describe her movements to others, one can say, “charged,” “raw,” “wild,” “tender,” but the words are not enough. Only in watching her dance can a person see the preternatural communication she enacts with her body.

Communication is an important part of Letissier’s music and is why she took the opportunity to make an English version of her album Chaleur Humaine (titled Christine and the Queens in the UK and US). The idea of an album in English allowed her to be more globally understandable—not simply an exotic French pop singer. “I’m obsessed with talking to lots of different people,” Letissier says, “I want to plant my seeds everywhere…” It seems appropriate then that an album that aims to create space for people of all types, that speaks to a simultaneous singularity and community in human experience, should get the chance to live a little bit more. In the creation and performance of Letissier’s music there is a desire to give agency to a listener, a generosity of sorts. “There is something really poetic about [pop music] as well because you get to have great memories with pop songs. It’s beautiful because it’s not about me anymore. A pop song eventually belongs to you,” she laughs, “I wish I could disappear out of everyone’s life.”

Photographers: ioulex.

Stylist: Masayo Kishi.

Hair: Kiyo Igarashi for Rona Represents using Oribe.

Makeup: Yuko Mizuno for Rona Represents using Chanel.

TAGS