CHELSEA LEYLAND photographed by ANDREW KUYKENDALL

Styled by KIM JOHNSON

Interviewed by FIONA BYRNE

Makeup by ALEX ALMEIDA

Hair by LAURA POLKO

Location LAFAYETTE HOUSE, NYC

CHELSEA leyland photographed by andrew kuykendall

OSKLEN bodysuit.

ASHISH shirt & skirt.

ANNDRA NEEN jewelry.

CHRISSIE MORRIS shoes (featured in above image)

stylist’s own belt.

She’s best known for DJing New York City’s most high-profile parties and events, but Chelsea Leyland’s plans extend far beyond the turntables.

Chelsea Leyland walked into the Lafayette House in SoHo for our cover shoot (dressed in leather pants with blonde, completely- Carrie-Bradshawed-out hair), and though she was just off a plane from London, she was endearing and pleasant from the get-go. Here at SHK, we’re all about personality. We could honestly care less how “cool” someone is if they aren’t actually cool. It was Chelsea’s style, character and passion to hone her craft that landed her as our cover feature for this spring issue. Her life, keeping in tune with the spirit of our Odyssey issue, is a fascinating journey of jetsetting around the world for exclusive gigs, attending the most VIP of events and working alongside some of the best designers of our time. Below, Leyland speaks with writer, Fiona Byrne, about what it’s like in the land of Chelsea.

She may have “fallen into” her career as a massively successful DJ, but Chelsea Leyland’s path was always headed towards the limelight. The 25-year-old’s move from London to New York City five years ago was for the purpose of attending the Lee Strasbourg Institute to study method acting, which she did for two years until she began spinning records at parties, runway shows and clubs.

chelsea leyland at the lafayette house nyc photographed by andrew kuykendall

HONOR NYC shirt.

KAREN WALKER sweater.

TOPSHOP skirt.

KAREN WALKER belt.

ANNDRA NEEN jewelry.

JEAN-MICHEL CAZABAT heels.

chelsea leyland fashion editorial at the lafayette house in nyc by andrew kuykendall

  “Fashion crowds can be really weird… Sometimes they want to be hip, and be educated, but I find high-end designers usually want to be quite safe.” 

For Leyland, it wasn’t just a case of flipping a cross-fader between two channels and calling herself a DJ. She made a point of learning her skills in the true sense: by using vinyl. “I use turntables, and I’m quite proud that I DJ like a real DJ,” she says. “There are a lot of girls that don’t and there is a big difference. I use a computer, because that is where the music is stored, but the Serato program I use allows you to scratch and mix with your hands. To me that’s really important. You can’t really get that rhythm without touching the record.”  However, she admits the skill required to use this program can be a challenge, even now. “I still find it difficult, I think it’s something you are always learning and improving. But that’s what’s kind of amazing about it, you practice your craft and you get better at it.” Despite being best known as a figure in the fashion party realm, Leyland’s favorite events to play are art openings. “I love playing art events. When you play a gallery opening you have a lot of freedom,” she explains. “The crowds tend to be a lot freer.

 

TOPSHOP dress.

CHEAP MONDAY belt.

KAREN WALKER belt.

IOSSELLIANI necklace.

ANNDRA NEEN necklace.

Fashion crowds can be really weird… Sometimes they want to be hip, and be educated, but I find high-end designers usually want to be quite safe. I mean, if I am DJing for a commercial brand or a corporate event then I will play Top 40, but I love playing ’50s, ’80s, some old French music… I try to be as diverse as possible. I’d say the genre I like to play the most is Hip Hop.” [read more from this feature download the Spring Issue]

Comments

comments