Saint Etienne’s Sarah Cracknell’s got retro style

Courtesy PhotoStill together: Even though Saint Etienne didn’t release any albums for several a series of years

Looks are deceiving. It might appear that Sarah Cracknell’s English electronic trio, Saint Etienne (featuring keyboardists Bob Stanley and Peter Wiggs), was away for seven years before “Words and Music” was issued in 2012. But the group did record together. She says, “We did the music for a cartoon TV program, we did film music, often for our own films, and we were artists-in-residence at the South Bank, where we’d curate events. So we just did tons of other stuff besides an actual Saint Etienne album.” The modern-looking singer is also in tune with the 1960s.   
 
You collect things from the ’60s, right?

I used to collect more, but now I don’t have quite so much space in the house because I’ve got kids. But I do have a lot of ’60s clothes that I still wear. I used to like anything from Biba, a shop in the ’60s and early ’70s. They had the most brilliant new designers.

You had a Porsche 911?

I did have, yeah. And I wish I’d never gotten rid of it — it was a really big ?mistake. But again, I had kids and I thought “Oh, it won’t fit them in.” But they easily would’ve fit in, quite honestly.

What’s your most prized vintage possession?

I’ve got a dress that was worn by Jill St. John in the James Bond film “Diamonds are Forever,” and I wore it in one of our videos. My dad [the late Derek Cracknell, known for his work as an assistant director for Stanley Kubrick] worked on the film, and after they finished bought it for my mom, and she’s given it to me.

Are you only gradually edging into new technology?

It took me a really long time, actually. I was one of the last people to have a mobile phone, one of the last to get a computer. But now I can use one for Skyping my family, and that’s good — I can see them all dressed up for ?Halloween.

And your new song, “I’ve Got Your Music,” is an ode to the cassette Walkman?

Yeah. It’s about making mixtapes for people, and how you can sort of get into their world, or they can get into yours. If you swap mixtapes, you can really get an insight into somebody.

You also own an original Panton chair?

There was a brilliant furniture designer called Verner Panton, and I’ve got one of his cone chairs in my bedroom — the bottom is shaped like a cone with the widest part at the top, so it’s almost like sitting on top of an ice cream cone.

artsmusicPop Music & JazzSaint EtienneWords and Music

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