After an onslaught of drama before the show even began, the 2019 Grammys red carpet started a bit slowly. There were some good looks and there were some not-so-good looks — but most looks were completely unmemorable. Until Janelle Monáe arrived, there weren’t any outfits that made you pause the red carpet livestream and want to zoom in on the photo.
Her dress was short and cut deep, with high, architectural shoulders and a softly pleated, asymmetrical hemline. It looked unlike anything else on the red carpet. And what appears a first glance to be a simple hat is actually anything but.
Monáe is actually wearing a complicated headdress. Draped over her head is a gold sheath comprised of tiny little golden safety pins, while an angular halo tilted at 90 degrees sits across her forehead. Amid a sea of blowouts and simple updos, the accessory broke up the monotony. Finishing off her look, she wore mismatched gold earrings and a plum velvet heel.
This is not the first time that Janelle has shown up in the most interesting outfit at the event — she wore her own black-and-white designs for the entirety of 2016, and she also pioneered the hot pink vagina pants we all know and love. So it’s not a huge surprise that her outfit tonight functions as wearable art. There’s nothing wrong with playing it safe, but we are so grateful that Janelle Monáe didn’t.