Tei Shi immediately starts trying things out. She slips into a sheer pastel Fendi blouse from the Karl Lagerfeld era of the early 2000s, which Laboucarié says is a particularly hard decade to find. While we all sit down and chat about clothes, our conversation descends into our professional lives. It’s a moving experience for the singer, who was unable to release music during the pandemic through her record label. “I was writing music about feeling really trapped in this situation and all the emotions of feeling really out of control of my own work and my own life. I finally got out [of my contract]says Tei Shi. “So now I’m entering a new independent phase where I don’t have a label, no management, and I’m self-liberating. What I’m doing is very, very hands-on.
“It’s so normal to lose why you started doing what you do in the first place,” Tei Shi says. At times, Laboucarié also felt a similar exhaustion. “Since February, my fight has been, Well, where is the passion? Where is the passion and where is the creativity? And how can I tap into that?” she says. “I’ve completely lost that the last few months. I really had to force myself to post on Instagram and create content for TikTok.
I notice we’ve all turned something we all love into a full-time job, which at times has exhausted each of us. But of course, whenever there is a bottom, there is always a top. Tei Shi went through a traumatic time with her record label, but then she was able to channel that energy into something powerful: a whole slew of new songs! “Get that [control] going back and owning it is really good,” says Tei Shi. “It’s incredible.” As for Laboucarié, she managed and realized that she took pleasure in creating content, which allowed her to refocus and recharge her batteries. Just being around these women makes me realize that I, too, don’t have to be exhausted doing something I once loved. In fact, talking with them makes me realize that I still love the clothes but even more the people who wear and make them.
Tei Shi tries a few other items. “You have to wear this on stage at your next concert!” I’m talking about a tiny Gucci silk dress from the Tom Ford era that slips off the shoulder. And why not? Tei Shi learned that she sold her show at Baby’s All Right in Brooklyn on November 19. She’s going to need a new look for this event. Laboucarié and I better start planning our own outfits; Tei Shi put us on the guest list to see his new era for ourselves.