I was initially magnetized to her because there was someone playing great music that looked like me. When I was little, I thought I would turn 20 and look like Beyoncé. I’m still little and will never look like Beyoncé. It’s comforting and encouraging looking up to someone I can relate to.
Frankie Cosmos vocalizes a lot of the Ping-Pong thoughts bouncing in our heads. Zentropy is delivered to us in a trinket box. Each bauble inside is something different to the listener. It’s like listening to the diary you wish you wrote.
I knew that Greta and her band would have a distinctive style with plenty of personal narrative. So I Facebook messaged Frankie Cosmos (as professionals do) and Greta charmingly accepted.
I met Greta and her band outside of the Mug on the backdoor steps. We sat down outside and after introducing ourselves we got serious about Frankie Cosmos’ passion for fashion.
Click below to see photos from the show.
I feel like there is a certain point when you’re little and you realize you want to look a certain way. What point was that? When did you start dressing yourself?
I actually was not little when that happened. I honestly just wanted to wear my brother’s clothes throughout high school and past that and then I made this friend. These two friends. Leonie and Joanna who are just really fashionable and they’re from Germany and they came to America with just like suitcases overflowing with amazing clothes. And my friend Joanna was like, “You could just wear a costume and be like a different person everyday. And I always think about that. That inspires my uh, my passion for fashion. Ron?
”Ronnie Mystery” or “Ron”
I guess I’ve always been picky. My mom said I used to just do this little finger test when I was younger for the material and say like “no” or “yes.” I mean, I don’t know when I started dressing myself. I don’t know. Maybe I was, I was in fourth grade or third grade or fourth grade or something.
I think I started dressing myself when I was in third grade. Because I got this like velour—no—ya, a crushed velvet like blue leopard print suit [laughs] that I wore like every day for the second half of third grade. So that’s when I started dressing myself.
Greta: That’s awesome.
Um, I’d say like early college. I started buying my own clothes. Before my mom would just like take us to Kohl’s and I didn’t really care but then I had some cool new friends in college [Half-sarcastically] And I had to get skinny jeans to fit in with them. So…
Greta: Where’d you go to get the cloooothes, David?
David: Oh, was that the question?
Me: Ya, sure!
Greta: I wanna know
David: Dude, Levi’s all the way and then Uniqlo. And then Starbucks.
Greta: We’re sponsored by Starbucks by the way. If you could just add that.
Ron: Ya we have to plug
Greta: Ya we have to plug stuff in about how we’re sponsored
Me: Wait, are you guys serious?
Greta; No no
Ryan: Okay, I was just like “I don’t believe that. I can’t believe that”
Greta: We like to lie about sponsorship. If you could just put that we’re sponsored by [laughs] Starbucks.
Aaron: David gets his jeans from Starbucks.
Greta: David is inspired by the fashion scene surrounding Starbucks.
Me: Barista scene.
Greta: Ya totally.
Greta: I would say the movie Clueless
Aaron: Ya, I would just say looking around in New York. Like all sorts of fashion.
Gabby: Uh, Starbucks… [laughs]
Gabby: I think… Actually, Greta is a big one
Greta: Shut. Up. Gabby.
Gabby: It’s, it’s true!
Greta: Come on! You’re my idol.
Gabby: And also, Susanna.
Greta: Yeah, Susanna honestly since I was like in eighth grade is my fashion icon probably
Gabby: Susanna is our friend who looks amazing even on days when she isn’t going to leave the house. She just looks so good.
Greta: When I laid eyes on her I was like, “I’d like to wear a dress sometime.” I saw her and I was like, “Maybe I could wear a dress one day!”
Gabby: Me too! That’s exactly what I thought.
Greta: And be cool. Yeah, she’s definitely an icon. I had a couple of friends like that.
David: I’d say my bro… Aaron.
Aaron: Oh, no. Don’t! Stop!
David: I dunno. My friends in college. Leon Fraun. Very fashionable guy. Starbucks. That’s it.
Me: Just Starbucks.
Greta: The Starbucks logo
Aaron: Such nice colors.
Gabby: On our last tour I brought so much clothing and I only wore like one shirt and one pair of pants like every single day.
Greta: I changed every day. Oh no I didn’t
Aaron: You wore tights every day.
Gabby: Ya you wore the same outfit.
Greta: No but I changed my shirt every—no actually what I did do I would wear an outfit two days in a row and then change.
Aaron: You wore the Scooby-Doo pants every single day.
Gabby: They were Joe-cool.
Greta: They were Joe-cool.
Aaron: I’m just sayin’
Greta: But I only own like one pair of pants. I just changed like my shirt. Cause it’s stinky to wear the same shirt.
Gabby: I always get shirts from the bands we play with and that replaces what I thought I would wear.
Greta: Yeah and you end up with a really heavy suitcase.
Aaron: We go to like Salvation Army if we have hours to kill.
Greta: My go-to tour packing thing is just like definitely more underwear than days that we’re gonna be away and also I—I always wanna wear—I always bring three pajama shirts that I know I can also use as a face towel. Like that’s actually how I think of it like, “Oh I’ll bring this soft shirt so I can wipe my face with it every night.” It’s really weird but that’s how I pack. Ya it’s sort of a fashion influence. Ron? Ronnie picked up these glasses on tour.
Aaron: Yeah I like going to try to find a thrift store if there’s time to kill.
[. . .]
I just feel like on tour you have more of an excuse to be adventurous with what you’re wearing cause you are going to a new place every day and maybe finding new clothes and people expect to—you know, you already look kind of crazy cause you’re driving around and stuff. But it’s funny going back to New York. It’s like every piece of clothing has a different meaning in that context. There’s like such a weird unspoken code of what to wear whereas if you’re in Ohio you can like you know, wear absolutely anything and look totally crazy.
Greta: Also, you have no friends with expectations of what you’re gonna look like whereas when you’re in somewhere like Ohio. You’re not going to run into someone and them be like, “Whoa! Weird shirt,” which happened the day we got back to New York.
Gabby: But it also changes depending on whether it’s cold on tour. On the first tour we did, I only wore like those fleece leggings with those socks and this really huge t-shirt. That was like my whole outfit the entire time.
Greta: Cause you thought it was going to be warmer I feel like.
Gabby: Well because that’s like the best thing to put things on top of. So I just kept like—but then this tour I got to be a little bit—well I guess I did just say I wore one outfit for this tour too so maybe I should just own it.
Greta: Ya, I feel like I was trying to be like versatile, I was trying to bring versatile clothing. Because it was April I was like, “Well it could be freezing or it could be warm like burning hot so I’ll just bring shorts and like this long johnny type pants and wear them under the shorts on days when it’s not hot.” And then it was cold every day so I was very Joe-cool pants every day under shorts. That is true, okay I forgot. Anyway. Alright next question. Uh “my client will take the next question.”
Me: What is something you would never wear?
David: Uuhh, so many things. Colors, that aren’t grey or blue. Blue is pushing it. Shoes. I can’t wear most shoes. I’ve been trying to find a new pair of shoes, that I do not hate, for the past three months.
Me: What shoes are you wearing now?
David: These are—I borrowed these from Aaron cause I had my work sneakers on that I was too embarrassed to wear out. Cause I’m a freak! And I can’t pick out shoes so…
Greta: They’re a little too colorful for you David.
David: They’re black. Black on black. Too much color. So ya, just shoes. And colors.
Greta: Gabby? What would you never wear?
Gabby: Um, I would never wear a tube top. I like… That’s so freaky to me. [Laughs] I can’t deal with that. I think that’s it. I think I would wear most other things.
Aaron: I never wear yellow.
Gabby: Well, I wouldn’t wear fur either.
Gabby: Cause that’s like… That’s gross.
Greta: I feel like for me it’s just like anything itchy. I would just never wear anything itchy. Ever. But especially not a feather boa. [Laughs] When you say “What would you not wear” like feather boa cause it’s not comfortable! And cause it’s creepy.
Me: I love when you can’t tell if a skirt is a tube top or a tube top is a skirt.
Greta: Oh I know. Oh my god.
Gabby: But then you put it on and then it’s obviously a tube top.
David: Also, a fedora.
Gabby: Ya, I would never.
Greta: None of us.
Me: Ya, all around.
Greta: The one thing none of us would ever wear: A yellow fedora.
Me: Fashion faux pas.
Greta: With fur.
Gabby: With feathers on the brim.
Me: Does anyone have any family heirlooms that are very dear to you that you wear or that you’re so scared to wear because they’re so important to you.
Greta: Honestly, I just found out today that my dad’s mom left me a gold bracelet and my mom’s friend borrowed it and has it still. And you know cause I never met her, “I want some day for Greta to have this chunky gold bracelet. Like from her grandma.” And I just never got it. My mom’s friend has it so we’re gonna try to get it back. That’s the only heirloom I can think of.
Gabby: My grandma tried to give me her wedding dress. And she was like, “You will never believe it but I used to be your size!”
Greta: That’s so cute.
Gabby: But then I tried to put it on when I was like fifteen and it was like, it was actually too small, which is so crazy! I feel like she must have been wearing the craziest corset ever to fit into that.
Greta: Do you still have it?
David: My mom gave me one of her wrist supports once. [laughs] I use that sometimes.
Me: What about like favorite pieces? Or good luck charm clothing? Or things that you find yourself wearing over and over.
Greta: I have a necklace that Aaron gave me for my 18th birthday that I wear almost every day but which I put on Gabby at a show a couple weeks ago and I keep forgetting to ask her to give it back.
Gabby: I look at it every day. And I’m like “Oh man, I have to give that back.”
Greta: It’s like a really good luck charm. Like my life is pretty much in shambles since I gave it to her since it’s like my Zen good luck charm.
Me: What does it look like?
Greta: It’s like a piece of quartz like a Zen quartz.
Gabby: It also has an opal or moonstone.
Greta: Yeah, it’s kind of is funny that whole thing.
Gabby: No, it’s really pretty.
Greta: It’s cool. Basically Ronnie made me this necklace when we were first dating that was just like an actual piece of quartz that he found in a wood pile that he glued to a chain and it was really beautiful but it broke a bunch of times and finally we lost it for good and then he got me a weird fancy version of it for my birthday and that’s the one that we share. It’s a good luck thing.
Aaron: I like your (Greta) dad’s green sweater a lot. It’s probably the thing that I wear the most. It’s a nice Scottish sweater company.
Gabby: I think that—Well I mean I wear this vest every day.
Greta: It’s true
Gabby: And it has all the pins from tours on it but it’s not really a good luck thing, it’s just a utility belt. It has my wallet in it.
David: I had a little packet of Frankincense that my teachers at massage school gave me that I kept in my pocket forever and then my pants went through the dryer. So it’s gone now. So my life has been spiraling out of control ever since.
Me: Alright last thing. What is something, anything, that’s got you really happy or excited lately?
Greta: I met my teacher’s baby today who is five months old and it made me so excited and I can’t stop thinking about him ever since I left their house.
Aaron: Emmmm, I need to think about it for a second.
Gabby: My puppy Frankie. Who is not named after Frankie Cosmos. [Laughs]
David: I was at work today and saw a baby and thought it was hysterical and locked eyes with it and I laughed cause I was like, “hah that’s a cute baby,” and it had the same thought as me and was like, “Hah!” and it started laughing back at me. It was so amazing.
Greta: So pretty much puppies and babies.
David: Puppies and babies.
Greta: Ron, what do you say? [sarcastically] Drugs? Cigarettes? It would be funny if Aaron was like [drops voice] “I’m so excited to smoke weed later.”
David: We don’t do that!
Aaron: I’m just happy to be like making music constantly with Frankie Cosmos and Porches.
Aaron: I’m just happy to be like making music constantly with Frankie Cosmos and Porches.