From Vogue.com: Sometimes, when Iggy Azalea wakes up in the morning, she resolves that starting today, she is going to be fashionable! She will never wear sweatpants again! But then, as soon as she starts doing her makeup, â€œthe dressing gown slips back into existence,â€ she says, â€œand I feed a dog.â€
Azalea is confessing this ambivalence about the rigors of dressing up over a tuna melt and French fries at Toast in Los Angeles. We are seated at an outdoor tableâ€”which Azalea requested, having rejected a quiet interior perch. Itâ€™s unclear whether the fact that this makes us paparazzi bait is something she is more than OK with, or if she just likes the sunshineâ€”but in any case, the photographers are massed across the street, along with a parade of weeping little girls brandishing schoolbooks and begging for autographs, lending a Day of the Locust vibe to whatâ€™s already become a surprisingly candid lunch.
Azalea (real nameâ€”and such a pretty name!â€”Amethyst Amelia Kelly) is clad in a huge Proenza Schouler sweater; hand-me-down jeans from her live-in partner, Lakers forward-guard Nick Young; and a black Borsalino-esque hat. She arrived in the States eight years ago from Mullumbimby, New South Wales, Australia, where she distinguished herself early on by trolling around town at age ten in a Chinese robe and lime-green platform shoes. Growing up, she was infatuated with Missy Elliott and Tupac Shakur, and even had a rap trio with two other girls. â€œI was very obsessed with being a child prodigy,â€ she remembers. â€œI liked the idea of doing something seemingly impossible in a field without women.â€
Now 24, Azalea is, in fact, one of a very few wildly successful white female rappers, with her song â€œFancyâ€ reaching the top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart last spring; that same week, her collaboration with Ariana Grande on the single â€œProblemâ€ went to number two, which meant that Azalea joined the Beatles as the only artists to hold the top two slots simultaneously with their first two hits. She began work on her second studio album in January, and later this year sheâ€™ll head out on a 21-city North American tour, which sheâ€™ll then take around the world. Azalea announced her tour, of course, via Twitterâ€”where, even more than most young celebrities of the moment, sheâ€™s established a constant (and often extremely frank) dialogue with her fans and followers.
Jennifer Hudsonâ€”who was featured on Azaleaâ€™s song â€œTrouble,â€ for which Azalea also wrote a treatment and directed a videoâ€”credits Azalea with inspiring her creativity. â€œIggy is the definition of an artist,â€ Hudson says. â€œSheâ€™s unique and differentâ€”and is consistently coming to the table with a fresh perspective.â€
Azalea also has a lovely visage and a willowy physiqueâ€”at least from the front. But letâ€™s face it: She is also famous for an impressive backside, an attribute that has been garnering outsize attention of late. (The mysterious fascination with this body part extends to Kim Kardashian Westâ€™s much-discussed caboose and Meghan Trainorâ€™s mega-hit â€œAll About That Bass.â€) Azalea, who has collaborated with her idol Jennifer Lopez on a raunchy ditty titled â€œBooty,â€ uncharacteristically downplays the obsession, noting that, really, â€œitâ€™s about proportion. I have to have everything tailored because I have such a small waist. Iâ€™m a 2 or a 0 on the top, and a 6 on the bottom.â€
Azaleaâ€™s shape wasnâ€™t always universally lauded. â€œWhen I first got to the States, people told me I should think about modeling,â€ she says. â€œSo I went to a few agencies, but once they measured my bodyâ€â€”she stands five feet ten inchesâ€”â€œthey didnâ€™t like me anymore.â€ Being told she should lose some weight and get a nose job had the predictable effect on her confidence: â€œI was looking in the mirror a little differently.â€
It is slightly stunning, then, when I ask the rather routine question â€œWhat would you change about your body?â€ and she replies, popping a French fry in her mouth and not blinking an eye, â€œI did change something: Four months ago, I got bigger boobs! Iâ€™d thought about it my entire life.â€ She says she was sick of having to sew padding into her stage costumes and wanted to be able to wear lingerie without wiring. At first she resolved never to discuss this publicly; she didnâ€™t want girlsâ€”so many of her fans are barely high school ageâ€”to feel bad about their own bodies. â€œBut then,â€ she says, â€œI decided I wasnâ€™t into secret-keeping.â€
To celebrate her new shape, we decide to hit Barneys for some early spring shopping. Azalea shakes off her bodyguard, deciding the best way to get there is in her white Ferrari convertible. We take a short but terrifying road tripâ€”photographers shooting at us from either side! Paparazzi pileup imminent!â€”and, by some miracle, arrive safely.
â€œShopping requires so much imagination,â€ she says, bemoaning the fact that some of the things she loves donâ€™t suit herâ€”she alleges that a Row dress with a wide hem will make her look frumpy; a high-waisted Dries Van Noten confection, meanwhile, is stunning, though she laments that her curves â€œwill make it look like a lampshade.â€ But she immediately snaps up a pair of white leather Proenza espadrilles, falls in love with roomy Stella McCartney jeans featuring wrestler-mask patches, and crushes on a gloriously expansive blue-and-white organza Balenciaga coat. (She also rises to the red-carpet occasion splendidlyâ€”witness the artfully slashed, bright-blue custom Giorgio Armani evening dress she rocked at the Grammys.)
Azalea hates changing roomsâ€”which may be why she falls for a ChloÃ© poncho that can, she says, be tossed over thermals, making her legs and shoes the only thing she has to worry about. â€œAll of a sudden I am fabulous!â€ she says. â€œI want to be superfabulousâ€”but also lazy.â€