We knew Janelle Monae was headed to the Oscars tonight. She was announced as a performer so we were anticipating it. And we were anticipating a look. Monae is known for her supremely individualistic style which tends to veer towards a pretty white and black color palette. So we expected a bit of that, with some sort of fun silhouette. But what we got was Janelle Monae, the warrior.
Clad in a custom Ralph Lauren gown, Janelle Monae looked like the glam gladiator we never knew we needed. The silhouette was imposing but feminine, with long sleeved fit upper body, a nipped waist, and a full, skirt. Better still, the look was hooded and the effect that the fabric had been treated with, gave it a passing nod to chainmail. This was Monae thea beautiful and the bold.
In case you were wondering, the look is actually made of a crystal-lacquered silk lame and tulle mesh. According to Laurie Brookins, a noted fashion writer, it required more than 600 hours of hand embroidery and features over 160,000 Swarovski crystals. She’s shimmering up there.
We expect this is look one of at least two of the night, considering Monae’s performance. No telling what direction she’ll go in onstage, but we’re sure it will be beautiful.
But before she gets on stage, we are tempted to wonder, what might Monae the gladiator be going to war against? Well all the phobias and isms they warn us about. Sexism, racism, homophobia, transphobia, all of that. And we have no doubts that she’s going to win.