Solange is one of those people who can take the weirdest and wildest chances, and still land on our favorites list even as she’s wearing something objectively ridiculous. She is hilarious, and yet paradoxically, I take her seriously. How that is achieved, I do not know.
She took her Met Gala inspiration, she said, from Grace Jones and Missy Elliot in addition to the night’s honoree Rei Kawakubo. As such, she is, in effect, wearing a giant puffer coat with its own matching train, looking for all the world as if she’s toting her own flotation aid in case of flooding, or a spontaneous pool party. Check out this dude’s life preserver, Biff Tannen’s crony is saying in my head, as he flicks Marty McFly’s orange vest. Dork thinks he’s gonna drown.
And yet, all that absurdity in this context seems to work. It’s a unique person that can roll up those influences, chew on them a little with a designer whose own personality is as strong as Thom Browne’s, and then spit them out in a way where she still looks wholly herself. I get the sense she cares very much about how this turned out, but somehow, it doesn’t reek of strain. It would on anyone else except possibly for SWINTON, because so few other people have cultivated a consistent air of caring about the creative jolt more than the kudos. It’s styled, and it’s meticulous, but it’s not thirsty. I actually feel like Kawakubo would’ve blessed this mess three times over with a note of envy. It’s so many things rolled into one. I mean, look at the ostentatious extra detail of giant cuffs with thumb holes. And these shoes:
High fashion ice skates if ever I’ve seen them. And Solange is so convincing that I half expect her to glide out of there powered by the steam of a triple-double combo. Sidebar: The U.S. women’s figure skating squad needs the juice. Is it too late to train her up? Or at least get her out there consulting on costumes? Imagine the possibilities.