MTV EMA winner Jasmine Sokko on wearing masks and androgynous style
MTV EMA winner Jasmine Sokko also wears men's clothes to 'refuse gender norms'
Not only was it surreal for local singer-producer Jasmine Sokko to be the first Singaporean to win Best South-east Asia Act at the 2019 MTV Europe Music Awards (EMAs) in Seville, Spain, earlier this month, she was also thrilled to meet international pop stars such as Dua Lipa and Halsey on the event's red carpet.
The first-time nominee - who claimed victory in her category by scoring the most public online votes - told The New Paper: "I was walking right after Dua Lipa and before Halsey, and these are artists that make my eyes sparkle when I talk about them."
Sokko, 24, said her Warner Music Singapore family was vlogging her panicking right before the red carpet.
"Everything happened so fast, it almost did not feel real," she said.
Since debuting in 2016, Sokko has been known for wearing her trademark masks to conceal part of her face, as she wants people to focus more on her music instead of her looks and everything else that she deems peripheral.
"To people who think it is gimmicky, you are not my target audience," she said.
The masks did not start off as a fashion statement, but they might as well be one now. Currently owning "somewhere along 10 to I-lost-count", she added that most of them are custom-made or sourced by her local stylist Randolph Tan.
Her most expensive one is Gentle Monster's Hackerzack 02, a quirky silver and black limited-edition exhibition piece.
She said: "I love how the product defies what we all know as 'shades' by being a single-lens frame covering more than half the face."
Among the advantages of wearing visor-like accessories onstage, Sokko said half-jokingly that it allows her to cry without anybody noticing, read from the lyrics prompter inconspicuously or sneak out backstage "like a ninja" once her mask is off because hardly anyone has seen her face.
The cons include technical difficulties like tripping on wires onstage because it is too dark and the mic hitting the edge of the visor, producing unwanted sound effects.
Describing her personal style as "dark and unpredictable", Sokko - who appeared on the cover of Her World magazine last month - is also a fan of androgyny.
Growing up, she enjoyed shopping in the men's section and "stealing" clothes from her brother's closet, and she bought her first lipstick only a year ago.
She said: "(As) I became aware of gender stereotypes, I wanted to refuse gender norms so I saw androgynous clothing as a statement towards that.
"I (also) love loose, geometric clothing details, which means women can choose not to be defined by the shape of their bodies."
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Although she wears black clothes only, there are still differences when it comes to expressing her mood.
Feeling "peculiarly 90s" while out and about at ArtScience Museum and Gardens by the Bay, she decided to put together an Alexander Wang mesh top with Superdry black dungaree shorts along with Adidas shoes and fishnet stockings.
"(I was then) running about aimlessly in my sneakers under the hot sun where I felt free," she said.
A fan of tech sportswear, Sokko - whose black long-sleeved top, skirt, hat and boots are from Y-3 - said of her brand new ensemble that she assembled for this #OOTD (outfit of the day) post: "It is so futuristic and comfortable at the same time. Also, tech sportswear is usually androgynous and baggy, and I love that women need not be defined by their shapes."
Aiming for a strong and structured look for the Clash de Cartier Studio pop-up event, Sokko and her glam squad opted for a figure-hugging leather minidress from Nineminutes and Charles & Keith knee-high boots.
She said: "I love the shoulder details because they give me so much more confidence and room to walk around, literally."
MTV EMAS RED CARPET JASMINE
Sokko, who was glammed up by the Yves Saint Laurent beauty team for the awards show, donned a gorgeous embellished midnight-blue cheongsam by Indonesian designer Sebastian Gunawan along with Jimmy Choo heels and handmade mask by her stylist Randolph Tan.
She said: "I wanted to wear something that represents South-east Asia on a global platform like the MTV EMAs."