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Let's go inside some of the industry's greatest closets off the runway and off camera.  Everything on this site is handpainted by the author. Follow me on Instagram @theclosetinterview and @annthaden.

Halle Johnson

Halle Johnson

Today I’m meeting Halle Johnson in Long Beach, CA.  Halle is a singer/songwriter appearing in this season’s American Idol.  A word that comes to mind when I think of Halle is unstoppable.  At a young age, three of her doctors believed that due to an advanced case of GERD, that Halle would not be able to pursue a career as a singer.  She has proven everyone wrong by earning an audition for American Idol this season while looking incredibly stylish while doing so! Follow her journey @purehalle and be sure to tune in this season for American Idol on Sunday at 8pm on ABC. 

Hello, it’s Ann.  It’s great to see you Halle.  Can I interview your closet? Sure.

Image courtesy of @marlowphoto

Image courtesy of @marlowphoto

I’m curious to know what you wore for your American Idol audition to make yourself feel confident and empowered.  Can you describe what you had on and if you consider any of these pieces lucky?  I have a signature look that I like to use for every performance by sticking to a black and gold palate.  My favorite jacket is black and gold and I add gold earrings and necklaces completed with my signature hairstyle.  Staying with this trademark color scheme makes it easy for me to focus on performing.  

Balmain leather blazer available  here .

Balmain leather blazer available here.

I see that you have a number of amazing tattoos.  Can you share a story about the meaning behind one of your favorites?  Every tattoo that I have has a lot of thought and care put into it.   I wear my art on my sleeve!  However, most important tattoo that I have is on the left side of my abdomen.  It’s a semicolon with 10 seagulls that represent my past struggle with depression.  I came to the realization that I needed to set goals for myself in the form of a bucket list and make my artistry my chief priority.  That’s why I selected a semi colon because my story isn’t over yet!  


What has been one of your favorite things that you’ve worn onstage? I’m also curious about whether you’ve every worn something that you regretted during a performance?  My Favorite is definitely my go to black and gold jacket.  I think the only thing I worry about is my hair staying in place so I use a ton of hairspray!  Otherwise I have no regrets about wardrobe choices on stage.  Everything goes according to plan.

I’m obsessed with your hair!  Where do you go/who is your stylist that creates such a unique and edgy look?  A few years ago I was on set for a performance in LA, the stylist asked if he could do something really quick and did transformed my hair into this amazing asymmetrical style.  Since then I’ve adopted this look as my signature style!

I love how you wear asymmetrical earrings.  Where do you go to find some of your favorite earrings?  I find a lot of my faves on boutiques in LA and long beach, occasionally online but mostly in stores.  I love checking out the selection at Tilly’s.  I’m hardly every matching! Everything comes together organically.

Alison Lou Gold Girl Power Earring available  here  and Lightning Bolt Earring available  here.

Alison Lou Gold Girl Power Earring available here and Lightning Bolt Earring available here.

If you could collaborate with any artist(s), who would you like to work with and why? At this very moment, Janelle Monae and K’Loni are two people I’d love to work with.  I think that Janelle Monae has such a strong presence that is true to herself, she has an important message to her community- especially women of color.  I want to be a part of spearheading that movement, so that would be such an amazing moment for me. 

What’s your favorite t- shirt and where did you find it? I have a favorite hoodie that I got from a swap meet 5 years ago.  At first brown w/ dark brown letters, now its light brown/tan, and all the letters are faded.  It reads love, peace and hope.  It’s perfectly worn in with holes and traveled with me across the country so I love it!

What is your spirit animal? Absolutely a lion! They represent strength and tranquility and resilience, fierceness and loyalty.  I naturally gravitate towards lions.



What did you wear the last time you went out to dinner?  Mostly I eat from home since I have a lot of food allergies, so mostly I cook for myself or my fiancée! 2 months ago, I was wearing a faux fur brown vest and really cool dashiki pants, flowy and cool with a black body-con tank top.

 ZERO + MARIA CORNEJO Printed silk pants available  here

 ZERO + MARIA CORNEJO Printed silk pants available here

Where did you go and what did you order?  We went to a new café that opened on Long beach, my hometown.  I ordered an amazing veggie bowl with sauerkraut and kale, onion and tomatoes.

What is your favorite beverage of choice?  Natural spring water from Carlsbad; We travel there once a month to get our water and drink! Natural spring water from Carlsbad, we get out water once a month and drink!  So good and healthy.

What song will you never delete from you playlist? Always and forever by Heatwave!


Do you believe in astrology? If so what’s your sign and which characteristics are important parts of your personality?  I believe in it to an extent, it’s fun to think about and see similarities between certain groups of signs.  I’m a Gemini.  I’m definitely the ability to adapt in any situation and tend to be the center of attention/life of the party.

If you could go in a time machine, where and when would you travel to?  I’d want to go about 100 years into the future because I want to know what progress is made for people in this world as well as for the environment.  I eat a 100 percent plant diet, so I think this will be become the norm.   I also want to see how society has changed, in terms of people of color receiving justice and equality. I'm ready for that change.) I also want to see how things change especially in terms of people of color getting equality.

What would you wear on this time machine adventure?  I’d likely wear my hoodie because it makes me happy!

Balenciaga Satin Pumps available  here

Balenciaga Satin Pumps available here

What are your favorite sources for inspiration for writing songs?   I look outside of music for ideas.  I write about life experiences, my own and others I observe. I also like listening to public speakers for inspiration, one of my favorites is Lisa Nichols. I’m reading her book "No Matter What" and carrying the book, "The Four Agreements".  I consistently strive to be the best version of myself. I look outside of music for ideas.  I like listening to public speakers, one of my favorites is Lisa Nichols I’m reading her book no matter what and carrying the book the four agreements to become the best version of myself.

If you could invite anyone in the world for a coffee who would you invite and why?  I stay away from coffee but I would have a glass of water and tea with Prince.  In my opinion he’s someone who figured it all out, because he bypassed labels and had great business skills.  He didn’t have anything on YouTube, if you wanted to see him perform you had to see him live.  He’s one of the most powerful voices of our time and our future.  So many people will continue to follow him and emulate him.  



Fill in the blanks regarding your closet!

The last thing I bought on vacation were some succulents in a clay pot when I traveled here Palm Springs.  It was so tranquil!


I spent too much money on clothes and food but saved a lot of money on rent.

I would love to wear this some gender neutral/androgynous chic ensemble because I want to make people think and blast out of the norm! and appear in this publication Rolling Stone.


I wear this fragrance I don't usually wear fragrance. I actually just had a dream about perfume, so funny you asked! I occasionally use essential oils like lavender.  I like to be as natural as possible but I love smelling this fragrance on someone else my fiancée will occasionally use men’s body sprays but most of the time is completely natural and will use essential oils.

Thanks for letting me interview your closet Halle.  I’m glad I got to know you better too.  Now would you mind if I borrowed your black and gold jacket? 

Jos Carmichael

Jos Carmichael

Filip Odžak

Filip Odžak