Flipping through all of the pictures from the Met Gala last week held in NYC, I was excited to see Janelle Monae looking as chic as ever in the latest rendition of her tuxedo look. This time around she paid homage to Mr. Lagerfeld wearing a Chanel high-collared Victorian blouse and added top hat for charisma.
Seeing her look this time around really got me thinking about the idea of transcendent fashion and people who are known by their “signature look”. Just like Gabrielle Chanel, Katherine Hepburn and Frida Kahlo (three of Janelle’s inspirations), Janelle has made a mark with her classic menswear style.
Since her first EP released in 2007, Janelle has only worn Tuxedo inspired looks in every public appearance she has ever made. She always changes up the look a bit by throwing on a cape or switching from a black tuxedo to a white one, but you always recognize her by this signature style.
Janelle says, “Style is more about the person, not everyone can get away with wearing tuxedos. It’s a lifestyle for me. I like people I can look to like Karl Lagerfeld. He wears the same thing all the time.”
I remember when I first saw her perform in 2008 at The Roxy opening for Raphael Saadiq. At the time, she was relatively unknown in the US and when she came out in her look and danced with such vigor and energy, I was completely and utterly mesmerized. I knew she was going to be big and I knew she was a true artist and someone who would not sell out to the industry in her fashion sense or in her music.
Cut to 3 years later, and she’s an inspiration for Karl Lagerfeld and her tuxedo looks are dominating the runways. Is it a coincidence? I don’t think so. The Fashion & Celebrity flock have all been seen sporting tuxedo looks on the red carpets and the streets of Paris. Her signature look has had a major impact on fashion and defines our #1 Fall trend “REFINED OPULENCE.”
“I bathe in it, I swim in it, and I could be buried in it. A tux is such a standard uniform, it’s so classy and it’s a lifestyle I enjoy. The tux keeps me balanced. I look at myself as a canvas. I don’t want to cloud myself with too many colors or I’ll go crazy. It’s an experiment I’m doing. I think I want to be in the Guinness Book of World Records.” (Janelle for Honey Magazine)