Kate Hogan
July 20, 2012 04:00 PM

Courtesy Alex Noble

From her androgynous suits to her elegant layered gowns, the versatile looks of singer Florence Welch, of band Florence + the Machine, mark her as one of pop’s ultimate fashion mavens. And her upcoming North American tour, which kicks off Saturday, keeps her style streak going: inspired by the jazz age, her tour costumes continue to dazzle.

“The costumes are like the beautiful Frankenstein of the best bits of previous stage dresses,” Welch, who created the looks with designer Alex Noble, tells PEOPLE. “You have a dress with big power shoulders and a cape, but shorts have been added.”

Influenced by 1920s artists like Erte and Tamara de Lempicka, the costumes have dramatic art deco shapes like in the “Mint Repeat Gown” (below) and “Midnight Blues” deco high-slit gown with deco panel hot pant (above).

Courtesy Alex Noble

What’s the trick to moving about the stage in all of that draping? It’s all in the walk, Welch says. “You’ve got to be light on your feet and use the dress. Don’t be overwhelmed by it. You want the dress to feel like it’s doing a performance itself. The more fabric, the better.”

And though she has an array of ensembles to choose from, the singer wears only one outfit per night. “Sometimes I don’t feel like being leggy,” she adds, despite having super-toned stems due to long walks around New York, yoga, and running.

At home, or when popping out for a grocery run, Welch says she rarely dresses down. “I don’t think I’ve ever worn jeans properly,” jokes the singer, who loves designs by Etro, Gucci, Valentino and Chanel (particularly the dress given to her by designer Karl Lagerfeld after she performed at his fashion show in October). “I have such a load of vintage dresses, I’ll just throw on something like that with some new shoes so that it’s not all period. You want to mix it up.” Tell us: Are you catching Florence + the Machine in concert this summer?

–Jessica Herndon


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