Disney Channel’s latest movie, “Lemonade Mouth,” premiering Friday, April 15, does what Disney musicals do brilliantly: showcase teenage talent, gently teach life lessons and model fashions appropriate for its audience.
Considering many girls and juniors departments feature clothes better suited to aspiring pole dancers, this is no mean feat.
In this, Hayley Kiyoko plays Stella, a talented musician and a rebel with her own look.
“If there’s one store to describe her, it would be Hot Topic,” Kiyoko says. “I actually kind of dressed like Stella in middle school when Avril Lavigne was in, and the safety pins. Now if you dress like Stella, you would call her punk.”
Though there are hints of original punk, Stella’s look is far tamer. When she wears a “Question Authority” T-shirt (available at Cafe Press), it’s with the collar cut off and the sleeves cut open, but refastened with safety pins. It’s edgy but not in-your-face edgy the way punk fashion used safety pins in the 1970s, which, incidentally, was in the face.
Stella wears skinny jeans, available at dELiA’s and most stores.
The key to Stella’s look is a balance of the hardness of rock ‘n’ roll outfits mixed with one piece of softer clothing. When she wears a leather vest, which can be found at LeatherUp.com, it’s paired with a flouncy blouse that pokes out from the vest.
The character also does this with soft plaid flannel shirts, which Target carries, and they’re paired with soft T-shirts.
Stella often dons thin, studded belts, worn low. They can be found at Belt Planet.
“She has a lot to say,” Kiyoko says of her character. “She always wants to have a message (such as) T-shirts that say ‘Save the Whales,’ and she puts in her own rips.”
On her own, Kiyoko, who was in a band that opened for Justin Bieber called the Stunners, says, “I am not that hard-core. I definitely like to be a little avant-garde and different. I love vintage stores and Zara and Wasteland. My friends call me old man chic. I love to wear Birkenstocks.”
“If I’m not comfortable – I am not happy,” she says.
To own Stella’s look, being comfortable in your own skin is key, Kiyoko says.
“You have to start with just believing in yourself and defining what makes you confident, and what makes her confident is her clothes. People find different ways of being confident, and sometimes they exude their personality through art and fashion – whatever your little niche is. For Stella, it is all about the clothes, and she is not going to let somebody tell her not to wear that. In general, just being who you are is the root for everything, and not comparing yourself to other people.”