There are two outfits I can’t stop thinking about this week – three, actually, but we’ll get to that in a minute – and they’re different, but they also remind me of each other. Let’s start with Constance Wu’s dress at the Costume Designer’s Guild awards the other night. It’s two halves of two dresses combined together to make one dress: on her ride side it’s a morning coat, pretty basic, and on her left side it’s a strapless silver sequined cocktail, also pretty basic; but when you put them together, it becomes something pretty funky.
So good, right? And it fits her perfectly. Also the shoes are adorable, great choice.
Then there’s Melina Matsoukas. And this look is probably a little more controversial/polarising. What links her outfit with Constance’s is that it too has two personalities. The top is a t-shirt with a tuxedo vibe. The bottom is a slinky skir…. Not so fast. It’s pants. And shorts. And there’s an unevenness about it that, yes, is meant to be strange, which it is, but for me it still works because it evokes the feeling of a skirt that’s cut up high on one side anyway. They’ve turned it into a full leg, sure, but it’s not like you haven’t seen this silhouette done without wrapping it around the calf, right?
Not for everyone, I know. But then again, Melina Matsoukas isn’t everyone. She shouldn’t be dressing like it. It’s a bold choice and I love her for it.
I also love what she wore to the Queen & Slim UK premiere and it deserves a shout-out. This leather vest (I think it’s leather? It looks heavy like leather) is meant to give you the impression that it’s armour, metal protection, a fashion warrior. But don’t sleep on how well it’s been designed with the oversized shoulder and the paneling along the ribcage to give it extra structure and then casually thrown over top of a white gown that some people would have wanted to turn into the main event but in her case, she’s quite rightly made it the anchor, the neutral element to highlight the real star of the party.
Going forward, everyone should be asking to dress Melina. She’s showing us that she is not interested in playing it safe.