Lia Ices is the kind of woman who, when she talks, everyone leans in to listen. She’s able to command a presence in any room with a sublime elegance and grace that draws everyone into her. I also had the joy of seeing her perform a few songs from her upcoming album and her quiet, commanding presence extends to her music. We were so excited to see her home, which is akin to an adult treehouse, on top of a mountain in Sonoma. We chatted about all things life, creativity, and how moving from the east coast to the west coast changed her style. I hope you fall in love with her as much as we have.
You have such a quintessential California chic, but relaxed style. Yet, you’re originally from Connecticut. Did switching coasts change your style at all?
My style is an amalgamation of all the places I’ve lived that have shaped me; New England for the value of old-school classics (bean boots, fisherman knit sweaters, stripes), New York City which celebrates art, freedom to experiment, self expression. And now, living in the mountains of northern California, my style has just relaxed into my setting. California is so open, expansive and naturally wild; it’s helped me get closer to myself (in a spiritual sense), and that’s reflected outwardly as well. Playing in the garden, hiking around the mountain, or hosting dinner parties at Scribe — it’s idyllic, active, versatile, and easy. Life keeps moving and hopefully we keep evolving and discovering who we truly are — you wear what makes you feel like your best and truest self, there’s no better style than that.
Who (or what) are some of your biggest sources of style inspiration?
Peggy Lipton for iconic California beauty, blending originality and simplicity. Tilda Swinton for her unique, raw, and fearless self expression … and as always, the consistent archetypal beauty of the Parisian woman!
As a musician / performer do you find your style changing from when you are on stage versus off?
In the past, there were times when my stage outfits purposefully felt more like costumes to get me into character… right now, I feel best performing in clothing that makes me feel like myself. I’m about to release a new album that I wrote up here on Moon Mountain during my pregnancy and first year of motherhood; I returned to my piano roots and made something that feels very personal and authentic. I didn’t go for anything other than being myself (I wasn’t pushing it, I just let it come naturally). It feels like a snapshot of my life during that time period. So lately, I’ve just been wearing what makes me feel like me and there is a lot of self expression in that. I’m not playing a character, I feel free, I feel real, and I can truly expose and share this very personal art.
As much as music is a way to tell a story, what we wear – how we choose to express our inner self via how we adorn our outer self – is of course, just another kind of storytelling.
Your adorable daughter, Una, joined us for dinner and was quite the star in the making. Are their certain pieces in your wardrobe you hope she appreciates and inherits? Do you ever buy something with the thought, “this will be worth it because it will eventually be Una’s”?
Una has incredible confidence and a very strong sense of self — it can be mesmerizing to see such a tiny person with such a mighty personality. I hope that her childhood out here in nature and her exposure to lots of amazing and interesting people at the winery continues to support and open up her beautiful heart and soul.
I’ve been thinking about keeping special pieces related to the creation of this album and our chapter here on Moon Mountain intact for her — they are charged with the spirit of this time, like storytelling pieces for her life. This shearling jacket I wear all the time, the dark green Vita Kin dress I got for my first Mother’s Day, documents of our lives. On that note, the first thing Una ever wore as a newborn baby was a white hand-embroidered blouse that was made by her great-great grandmother in Colombia and worn by my great-grandmother, grandmother, mom, me, and now Una– a lot of energy and meaning there that I promise to preserve.