Heather Small Sunday Express Magazine Fashion Feature

Heather Small featured in the Sunday Express Magazine on Sunday 22nd January 2017. The article ended with a mention of a forthcoming Essential Remix album and a tour:

In the closet with M People singer Heather Small

The soul singer hits the perfect note in a sassy jumpsuit and high heels.

From her days with M People, Heather has always loved wearing catsuits. This white one is also by Roland Mouret. Her bracelet is by Pandora. Heather couldn’t live without beautiful undies. Her white lace bra and knickers are by Mimi Holloway, black lace bra by Agent Provocateur, and black lace knickers by Madame Supertrash. Heather’s holiday suitcase includes this Melissa Odabash bikini and Louis Vuitton, Michael Kors, Chloe and Gucci sunglasses. Heather is a fan of Roland Mouret. This pink strapless dress is by the designer, worn with stilettos by Christian Louboutin.

Heather, 52, is best known for being the lead singer in 90s band M People, which sold more than 10 million albums worldwide. She’s gone on to establish a successful solo career releasing her debut album Proud in 2000, with the single of the same name becoming her signature song, the theme song to The Oprah Winfrey Show and the official anthem of the London 2012 Olympic Games. Heather is single and lives in west London with her son James. 

How would you describe your style?

Elegant, eclectic, funky.

Which colours and shapes suit you best?

I’m not very tall, so fitted shapes suit me best. Anything loose makes me look like I’m wearing a sack. As for colours, because of my skin tone, I can wear most and I do, although I like black and white, too. 

What is your favourite fashion era?

The 70s. I grew up in that decade and I’ve never stopped loving flared trousers and catsuits. The way musicians dressed was synonymous with their music. I loved reggae and Bob Marley’s fashion – the denim shirt and flares – but also the disco glitter trend with the afros, satins and sequins.

What is your favourite high- street brand?

Zara, hands down. It’s great for all ages.

Who is your favourite designer?

Stella McCartney. She’s a vegan like me and the fact she does high fashion without using leather and fur is innovative, plus there’s often a nod to the 70s in her clothes. But it’s not cheap in Stella’s vegan world, so I sometimes fall off the wagon. Oh, and Roland Mouret. His clothes are so flattering and fit like a glove without being girlie. They are structured and empowering.

What do you like to perform in?

An all-in-one jumpsuit. It gives me the freedom to move around the stage unrestricted with a nice silhouette. Plus, I like to have extra hair – but I never wear a human hair wig. It’s purely down to the ethics. No woman should walk around bald because I’m wearing her hair.

Do you wear heels on stage?

Yes. I learned from the best, Tina Turner and Shirley Bassey, who wouldn’t dream of performing without heels. As soon as the show starts the heels go on. If I had to walk on my hands my shoes would not come off.

How has your stage style evolved from your time with M People?

I’m maybe not as flamboyant now. I used to wear a lot of big earrings and accessories, which I don’t now. But apart from that, my style’s not that different. I’m still wearing the trousers. I’ve always wanted to be seen as strong and powerful rather than girlie.

How many outfits do you take for the stage on tour?

Only a couple, but I always take more than one of each so I’ve got spares for cleaning.

What do you like to wear at home, for relaxing on the sofa?

I’ll wear a pair of keep fit bottoms with a Stella McCartney hoodie. I still like to look nice.

Elegant but funky sums up Heather’s style. She loves this long black crepe dress by Galvan and blue silk Diane von Furstenberg dress. A selection of Heather’s designer bags includes a blue bucket bag and purse by Michael Kors, a pink Marc by Marc Jacobs satchel bag and a pink leather hat box-style bag by Emilio Pucci. Heels are a must-have for the singer. These are by Tom Burch, Sophia Webster and Christian Louboutin. Heather loves to wear wigs on stage. Her boots are by Stella McCartney. Heather likes structured empowering clothes. Here she wears a lurex crop top by Self Portrait, a leather skirt from Zara and black heels with a cuff by Stella McCartney.

Do you have a style icon?

Jamaican-born Grace Jones. Even though I’m anti-smoking, that image of her with a buzz cut, fag hanging out of her mouth wearing a power suit with a deep V-neckline really pushed the boundaries for women. She is so strong and fearless.

What is your best beauty secret?

Eat well but be kind to yourself. I’ve been vegan since I was 25.

Are you a hoarder, or do you clear out your wardrobe each season?

Lord have mercy I find it hard to let go! It doesn’t matter what I’ve paid for it, how long I’ve not worn it, if it still fits, I can’t throw it out. I’ve got rails and rails, and it’s not good.

Are you a fan of vintage? 

I was a bit of a collector, but not so much now. 

How many shoes and handbags do you own?

Lots and lots of both, but I’m not giving a number. I’m not embarrassing myself.

What is the best piece of fashion advice you have ever been given?

Don’t take fashion so seriously. Have fun with it.

What is your current favourite outfit?

A French Connection 70s-style, faux shearling-lined biker jacket with Victoria Beckham flared trousers or skinny jeans.

How much do you spend on clothes each month?

No comment. You can torture me but you’re not getting that information out of me.

What is the most expensive item in your wardrobe? And best bargain?

Probably my Roland Mouret jumpsuit, about £1,500, is the most expensive and my Zara jumpsuit, which cost around £50, is the best bargain because I wear it so much.

What is the oldest item in your wardrobe?

That I still wear? Stuff from the mid-90s, plus I still have some pieces from my M People days.

Who would you like to make your wedding dress?

Vera Wang? But hell no, I’m not getting married. I’ll go to someone else’s wedding if I want some cake.

Have you a favourite little black dress?

Yes, a fitted style by Dolce & Gabbana.

What is the one item of clothing you couldn’t live without?

Beautiful underwear, preferably matching. I like Agent Provocateur, La Perla and Intimissimi.

What is your favourite piece of jewellery?

My Bulgari watch.

Have you ever made a fashion faux pas?

Who hasn’t made a fashion faux pas when they get to 52? The worst was years ago when I went to Greece with only summer clothes and it was freezing cold.

What item of clothing would you save from a burning house?

I like fashion, but not that much. I’d let it all go up in smoke. 

Visit heathersmall.co.uk for details of her upcoming tour and Essential Remix album.