Fashion means more to Céline Dion than beautiful ball gowns, sexy stilettos and a hot handbag (of which she just launched a new line, available now).
For the French Canadian singer, 49, her array of glamorous looks — including high-fashion designs from Zuhair Murad, Atelier Versace, Balmain, Dior, Alexander McQueen and more— are pure source of joy and a much-needed one at that since she lost her beloved husband and longtime manager, René Angélil, to cancer at 73 in 2016, and the loss of her brother just days later.
“It’s amazing how a little bit of fantasy can alter our moods,” the mother of three tells PEOPLE during an interview about her new handbag line featured in the newest issue, on newsstands now. “I’ve always loved fashion, from as far back as I can remember. But as everyone knows, I’ve gone through some extremely difficult times in recent years, and I suppose that I’m spreading my wings a little bit more these days and doing so with the help of beautiful clothing and accessories.”
She’s also doing so with the help of a new stylist, Law Roach, who she started working with last summer. When Roach teamed with Dion, he told PEOPLE that he could see how much fun she had with fashion, and how much it lifted her spirits. “Fashion can really take you to another place,” he told PEOPLE at the time. “If you feel beautiful and pretty, you can’t be sad and miserable. It’s just impossible.”
These days, Dion agrees: “Law is 100 percent correct,” she says. “Fashion can have a huge influence on how we feel from day-to-day. We can be feeling a little bit down when we wake up to face the day, but things start to brighten up a little when we put on that fancy outfit, with the vibrant colors and a spectacular pair of heels.”
So, how does she describe her style? “I don’t think I have a style as such,” she says. “For me, anything goes! As I’ve said I love fashion, and I love experimenting. I feel great in a pair of faded jeans and T-shirt—I guess that’s my rock ’n’ roll style. But as you’ve probably witnessed, I just love to wear a beautiful couture gown, that makes me feel like a princess or a diva.”
Ultimately, if she’s taught us anything from her style renaissance-meets-reinvention, it’s to indulge in fashion fantasies. “Fashion is fun. Fashion is fantasy,” adds Dion. “It can often provide the escape that we need to take our minds of our daily problems, even if only for a short but necessary time.”
For more of new interview with Celine Dion, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday, September 8.