Songstress Drue de Milo Suits Up in Latex
V spoke with the rising singer and songwriter Drue de Milo about becoming a louder voice in the mainstream.
Rising singer and songwriter Drue de Milo has been working in the chic underbellies of New York and Los Angeles for years, but now, in 2020, the artist is ready to become a louder voice in the mainstream.
The Manhattan-born de Milo received classical training in voice and dance from an early age, and eventually attended NYU’s prestigious Tisch School of the Arts for acting. While there, she worked as a dancer and turning-the-party-girl for The Box, a premiere downtown nightclub, where she rubbed shoulders with some of the cooler people in the Big Apple. After graduating from Tisch, de Milo joined a Blues-y rock group based in LA, but came back to the East Coast when she felt that situation no longer served her creatively. After reacquainting herself with New York, de Milo got a place in Montauk near the ocean — surfing and the ocean are two major inspirations for the singer — and began releasing songs on her own, such as 2018’s “I Wanna Be Ur Girlfriend” and last year’s “Psycho Heart.” She’s performed all over New York City, including a private show for the Real Housewives of New York, and has been featured in W, The Cut, Wonderland, and the Sartorialist. She is a talented singer with a strong yet sensitive voice, striking good looks, and songs that speak to love and loss and loneliness and hope, all inspired by her life and the flowing nature of water.
As a born New Yorker, de Milo also has an intrinsic sense of fashion and style, and as such NYC-based designers and photographers often seek to work with her. One such photog is Maeghan Donohue, who teamed up with de Milo for a V-exclusive luxury latex photoshoot, aiming to celebrate the curves and lines of the female form in all its sensuality.
The many latex pieces, drawn from designers like Garo Sparo, the Latex Baroness, and more, are at once freeing and binding, both showing off de Milo’s body and, in some ways, hiding it. Some of the latex, almost the same color as de Milo’s own skin, leaves the singer seeming almost nude. Yet the experience reveals more, a feeling of personal prerogative and sexual empowerment, where the outfits are tight… but only because de Milo wants it so. Bondage, but always with her permission.
“I’ve worked with Drue for years,” Maeghan Donohue tells V. “I’ve documented her myriad transformations — in the studio, on location, and during live performances. In each photograph, despite varied aims and contexts, Drue possesses an underlying precision and strength. It was thrilling to work on this particular project, where these motifs could surface and be represented in such a literal way.”
We chatted with Drue de Milo about the inspiration behind this latex labor of love.
V Hi Drue! V love what you’re doing. Could you give us some backstory and inspo for this lovely latex moment?
DDM We shot this this past fall, when that last summer I had spent a lot of time in wetsuits, surfing in the Hamptons. There’s a very specific feeling you get when you put on something tight, like a wetsuit. I had never really worn latex before, but it was only after I began wearing wetsuits all the time that summer that I sought out that feeling for a photoshoot. I wanted feminine and sexy. So I was writing music a lot, and wearing tight wetsuits, and spending all my time at this ethereal part of the beach, and so I wanted to shoot something both conscious of my body, like it is when I’m in a wetsuit, but make it fashion. Therefore, latex!
I think there’s something incredibly vulnerable and sexy and almost natural about really accentuating a feminine shape, like you can with latex. So when Maeghan and I were playing around with the idea of a femme fatale in latex, we changed it to femme naturale. Because there’s this idea of naturalness being outdoors-y with a t-shirt on and hiking boots, but to me it also feels very natural to be in high heels and latex and like, done up. So for me, that is the natural state, and that’s how I feel my feminine power. Does that make sense?
V Absolutely. And what kind of a woman do you think you’re representing in this shoot?
DDM A confident woman. A superwoman. A woman that wants certain things, yet does not really need for anything. And certainly, a woman who stands strongly for her own self.