1. Fall Fashionista

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Picking the cover subject for SPIN's September Style Issue was a no-brainer: Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark, is hitting a career stride with her divine third album Strange Mercy, out September 13 via 4AD. Its 11 elegant yet nervy pop songs are her best yet, and they parallel her fashion sense, a "haunted old-school glamour," SPIN editorial director Charles Aaron writes in the issue's introduction.

For the cover shoot, photography/art director Michelle Egiziano met Clark at Manhattan's Industria Studios on June 30. "We knew working with Annie would be an engaging and delightful experience," says Egiziano. "By choosing Tom Allen to shoot the cover, we made a decision to make iconic and memorable photos that were a simple statement about her pure spirit. We were not disappointed."

SEE OUR EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS >>

(Marc by Marc Jacobs sweater, stylist's own jacket)

2. Fall Fashionista

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Picking the cover subject for SPIN's September Style Issue was a no-brainer: Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter St. Vincent, aka Annie Clark, is hitting a career stride with her divine third album Strange Mercy, out September 13 via 4AD. Its 11 elegant yet nervy pop songs are her best yet, and they parallel her fashion sense, a "haunted old-school glamour," SPIN editorial director Charles Aaron writes in the issue's introduction.

For the cover shoot, photography/art director Michelle Egiziano met Clark at Manhattan's Industria Studios on June 30. "We knew working with Annie would be an engaging and delightful experience," says Egiziano. "By choosing Tom Allen to shoot the cover, we made a decision to make iconic and memorable photos that were a simple statement about her pure spirit. We were not disappointed."

SEE OUR EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS >>

(Marc by Marc Jacobs sweater, stylist's own jacket)

3. Silver-Screen Star

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"Annie mentioned to me while she was in the makeup chair that she wanted to get into character like an actress," Egiziano says of the rocker, who is an avid movie buff. "The heavy eyebrow and dramatic red lip helped her create this character in vignettes."

(Camilla and Marc lace dress)

4. She's Electric

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"Annie has a terrific personality and an electrifying on-camera presence," says Egiziano. "The combination of her personal style, the Katharine Hepburn-influenced fashion by stylist Heathermary Jackson, and the dramatic '40s-inspired makeup created a retro narrative."

(J.W. Anderson mohair sweater, Pamela Love silver spike ring and necklace)

5. Animated Annie

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"Everybody on set was 'oohing' and 'ahhing' every time a new photo popped up on the digital monitor," says Egiziano of Clark's striking presence. "To see this person who walked in a cute black dress and black round sunglasses embody a Shakespearean cast of characters was a memorable experience. Everyone was crushing on her!"

6. 'Savage Beauty'

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To write SPIN's story about Clark, we recruited comedienne Julie Klausner, the voice behind the hilarious "How Was Your Week" podcast and the dating memoir I Don't Care About Your Band.

"[Clark] looks like a John Currin painting: all eyes and curls and a long pale neck and sloped nose under freckles that seem to cry out, Render me in oils. Exaggerate nothing," writes Klausner, who accompanied Clark to New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art to see Savage Beauty, the exhibition of work from late designer Alexander McQueen.

"In regards to being a fashion aficionado, there's a certain amount of taking yourself seriously in the professional world," Clark tells Klausner. "The self-effacing person can't completely go down the serious road. But I design, and love when things are beautiful."

7. Musical Virtuoso

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Clark tells SPIN that she stayed in Seattle last fall to write the songs for Strange Mercy. "[Death Cab for Cutie drummer] Jason McGerr had an office that was closing. He offered me the space. For all of October I was alone. I stayed at the Ace Hotel downtown, in one of the rooms with a shared bathroom," she says.

"I would just get up in the morning and caffeinate, and run, and go to the studio for 12 hours, come back, eat dinner alone with a book, have a glass of wine, and go to bed. And do it all over again."

For more on St. Vincent, pick up SPIN's September issue — on newsstands August 23.