Langley Fox and Rainsford Qualley try this season’s romantic and fantastical designs on for size at the mythical Getty Villa
Ask Rainsford Qualley who her musical influences are and she’ll swiftly cite an eclectic collection of artists — from the sublime to the lesser known — including Kate Bush, Prince, The Spice Girls, Little Dragon and Abra. Yet the 28-year-old model and singer-songwriter, who performs under her first name, has an entirely original sound that blends soul, electro funk and indie pop. “I spent a long time writing and figuring out the exact sound that I wanted,” she says. The retro-tinged aesthetic of both her music videos and hyper-feminine personal style has a touch of the occult. She performs spells and ceremonies and might sport a single icy contact lens. “By nature I am very shy, so using creative outlets has always been my most comfortable form of self-expression.” Following the success of her 2018 EP, Emotional Support Animal, and singles like “Too Close,” Qualley plans to debut her first full-length album this summer.
She grew up far from the spotlight, in Montana and later North Carolina, and her mother, ’90s icon Andie MacDowell, nurtured her penchant for music through piano, violin and ballet lessons (she still dances to this day); her father, model-turned-contractor Paul Qualley, taught her to play the guitar. “I’m really thankful to be part of an arty family,” says Qualley, who moved to L.A. a few years ago after spells in New York.
She shares her home in Echo Park with her younger sister and best friend, actor Margaret Qualley of The Leftovers, and the two collaborate on everything from composing text messages to recording music. “There are a lot of artists in the area and it feels very vibrant and alive,” she says of her adopted L.A. neighborhood. She scours vintage shops such as SquaresVille, dances at The Sweat Spot and soaks up the city’s “storybook houses, ghost stories and witchcraft.” Plus, MacDowell recently got a place in nearby Highland Park, so Qualley — a devoted vegan and animal fosterer — and her mother can regularly take their rescues for hikes in Elysian Park. “I love that in L.A., anything you feel like doing, you can find somewhere to do it.”
“I was always aware of Ernest Hemingway being one of the greatest writers of our history,” says Langley Fox, whose full name, Langley Fox Hemingway, gives her away as the Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning writer’s great-granddaughter. “It was never something that I focused on … [but] I definitely hold it dear to my heart.” Though her great-grandfather helped shape the American canon as we know it, the 29-year-old — who goes by her middle name, Fox — is quick to assure that her upbringing was normal, “except for English class.” Her mother is actor Mariel Hemingway of Manhattan fame, and her model-actor older sister, Dree Hemingway, has walked the runway for Givenchy, Chanel, Calvin Klein and others. “My sister and I are practically inseparable at this point,” Fox says. “We speak for hours every day, like we can’t let each other go.”
Fox is an artist — and model — whose pen and pencil sketches often reflect her own femme-meets-grunge sense of style (think fresh-faced and tattooed, vintage work wear and hoop earrings). “I’ve been drawing cowboys lately so I probably have started dressing like a cowboy. Who knows?”
Raised between Idaho and California, where she was born, Fox now lives in L.A.’s Mount Washington neighborhood, as an illustrator of photo-realist works whose subjects range from flora and fauna to skeletons and skinheads. She’s been tapped to use this talent by major fashion houses including Gucci, who asked her to interpret its new Gucci Bloom fragrance for a campaign, and as a runway model by the likes of Miu Miu and Marc Jacobs. “I feel like I’m in a transitional stage where I’m trying to discover something more within myself and less trying to do work for other people,” Fox says. Spoken like a true artist.
Photography by BELLA NEWMAN.
Creative & Fashion Direction by ALISON EDMOND.
Written by ANUSH J. BENLIYAN.
Hair by PETE LAMDEN. Makeup by ALEXA HERNANDEZ at Forward Artists using Charlotte Tilbury. Manicure by EMI KUDO at Opus Beauty using Chanel Le Vernis.
Models: LANGLEY FOX and RAINSFORD QUALLEY at Next Management.