In Los Angeles-based band Girlpool’s video for their new song “Like I’m Winning It,” which came out last week, a bevy of backup dancers clad in baroque corsets and feather-studded peasant tops dance underneath a disco ball in an Austin Powers-themed bar in Los Angeles, Electric Pussycat, which closed soon after they finished filming the Amalia Irons-directed visual (according to the band, an Austin Powers impersonator used to frequent the establishment). Avery Tucker, one half of the band, looks on from a curved red couch. He’s dressed in a studded leather jacket, which obscures his T-shirt design by Tucker Trip, stylist Zoë Arquette’s partner, which depicts two snails copulating, or as Tucker explains it: “It’s humping a snail humping another snail, and it says anal on it.” Harmony Tividad, the other half of Girlpool, sits at the bar alone, wearing a puff-sleeved, Renaissance-esque baby pink gown that matches the frothy drink that fills up her martini glass.
The song is a bit of a change-up for the band. Though the duo already expanded their early harmonious, stripped down indie rock compositions to incorporate more instrumentation on their most recent album, last year’s , Tucker describes “Like I’m Winning It” like a “dungeon song about desire” and the sort of games that go along with it. Given the song’s somewhat darker mood, then, the video fittingly draws inspiration from David Lynch, Greg Araki, and Ozzy Osbourne’s dramatic “No More Tears” video. “We wanted to create this whole fairytale around it that felt really magical and otherworldly,” Tucker says. “We wanted the club scene to be one vortex and then the forest dream sequence to be a whole other vortex because the song is about fantasy, really, so we wanted the video to really capture what escapism through fantasy feels like.”
When it came to translating this fantastical spirit to their wardrobes in the video, London-based, Los Angeles-born stylist Zoe Arquette was a no brainer collaborator for the duo. “She’s incredibly talented and has such a vision with clothes,” Tividad says of Arquette. Tucker ‘s known Arquette for years, as they went to high school in Los Angeles together. “She would literally just show up to school in these unbelievable outfits,” Tucker says. “She would literally show up looking like she was going to a gala. It was shocking and so cool.”
Arquette brought this same sensibility to the new video. “She brought so much amazing retro stuff and then all these Victorian pieces. She’ll put this amazing vintage piece on you and you’ll be like, ‘Oh my god, I can’t move in this. I don’t want to fuck it up.’ And she’ll be like, ‘It’s okay,’ and she’ll just start tearing it and rip the fabric so it will stick out in a certain way.” Arquette also custom made certain pieces in the visual, too, and she also pulled some full-out designer looks for Tucker—in the forest scene, Tucker’s wearing head-to-toe Gucci.
Arquette’s disregard for the preciousness of clothes fits in with Tividad’s own practice of making garments. “I make my own clothes sometimes, but it’s very makeshift, and she has such a cool methodology with clothing—she worships it but also understands that fashion is beyond something looking perfect. It’s more nuanced than I think people give a lot of credit.” Tividad used to patch fabrics together while on tour, making something new each day and then wearing her new creation on tour each night. “I like to feel so in control of your style in that way. I feel like as a culture, we’re so connected to this image of put-togetherness that we feel we need to emulate because of capitalism and success and all these ideas, and I think it’s really empowering when you realize that fashion can transcend that and to be more about literal expression and poetry instead of this flat idea of covering the body,” she says. “I think there’s just more expression to be had that’s less connected to preconceived conceptions of what fashion is.”
Their clothing in the video are just a more exaggerated version of their everyday style. Recently, Tividad’s been wearing Renaissance clothes and Amish skirts with big sweatshirts. “I feel like I’m always dressed future-Renaissance. Lots of ’40s stuff, too, like scarfs and shoes,” Tividad continues. “She pulls it off,” Tucker affirms. Tucker’s been into layering recently, piling his favorite sweaters over Jean Paul Gaultier or weird striped shirts. “I honestly also just love wearing my sweats. I’ve been really into athletic pants.”
Tucker admits that clothing is intimate for everyone, but since he came out as trans a few years ago, self-presentation has taken on entirely new significations. “It’s such a tool for my gender expression. It’s always been that way, and my whole life, I’ve just been dialing in what feels right on my body. I’ve reached this place more recently where I feel comfortable fucking it up. I felt like before I wanted to play with clothes that made me blend in more with the world because I had this disadvantage of not blending in, so I wanted to wear very masculine, straightforward clothing that was palatable, but now that I feel like I have my identity more dialed in in a more comfortable way in my physical body, there’s more room to explore stuff that isn’t palatable and create more complexity in the way that I present because I feel more seen.”