See Janelle Monáe’s Style Evolution Over The Years
anelle Monáe is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and producer. She was born on December 1, 1985, in Kansas City, and grew up in a musical family. She moved to New York City to pursue her dreams of becoming a musician and eventually signed with Sean “Diddy” Combs‘ record label, Bad Boy Records. Monáe gained widespread attention with her debut EP, “Metropolis: Suite I (The Chase),” released in 2007.
Since then, she has released several critically acclaimed albums, including “The ArchAndroid” and “Dirty Computer,” and has received numerous awards and nominations for her music and acting work. She is also known for her activism and advocacy work, particularly around issues of race, gender, and LGBTQ+ rights. Another distinct thing about Monáe is her unique and free-spirited sense of style.
When Monáe’s career began to kick off, she was known for her distinctive fashion sense and her love of classic styles. She often wore black and white outfits, with sharp lines and sleek silhouettes that were reminiscent of the classic tuxedo. Her signature look was a black and white suit with a high collar and a bow tie.
As she gained a vast fan base, Janelle Monae’s style continued to evolve. She experimented with bold prints and bright colors, especially hints of red while still maintaining her love of classic styles. At the same time, the 37-year-old also began to incorporate more political and social themes into her music, using her platform to speak out about issues like race, gender, and sexuality.
Through it all, Janelle Monae’s style evolution has remained a special hallmark of her career. She continues to push boundaries and defy expectations, blending different styles and genres to create something truly one-of-a-kind. And fans all over the world remain stoked by her incredible talent and unforgettable style.
Here’s a brief tour of Janelle Monae’s style evolution over the years…
For the 51st Annual GRAMMY Awards red carpet in February 2009, Monáe wore a black suit with a white ruffled-neck shirt paired with black boots.
At the May 2011 Met Gala red carpet, the star was styled in black pants and a white shirt with ruffles on the neck and the sleeves. The look was finished off with a top hat and a pair of black platforms.
At the 2013 BET Awards, the “I Like That” hitmaker opted for an all-white look, where she rocked an all-white Dolce & Gabbana suit with a high-neck shirt. She accessorized with a crystal choker and silver sandals that brought some sparkle to the chic offering.
Janelle Monáe arrived at the 2014 Met Gala on May 5th wearing a red and black embroidered Tadashi Shoji tulle cape over a white shirt and black pants. Clearly, she chose to be a little different by adding another color, red, to the mix.
Although Janelle Monae’s style evolution had started to take on a few add-ons, the star stayed true to her monochrome palette here. At the 2015 MET Gala, she opted for a floor-grazing H&M caped outfit. A red lippie always delivers excellence, and Monae’s case was no different.
When President Obama hosted the Nordic Leaders for State Dinner in 2016, Monáe showed up in her signature all-black tuxedo. This time she accessorized with a red clutch bag. At this point, she had made it clear she also has a soft spot for the color red.
For the Producers Guild Awards on January 28, 2017, the star rocked a black and white striped flowing tube gown from Carolina Herrera‘s spring 2017 collection. The double-layered choker, rings, and black purse that finished off this look added a good dose of glam to the ensemble.
For the March 2018 Vanity Fair Oscar Party red carpet, Monáe arrived in a red Christian Siriano three-piece suit with a high-low hemline. An out-of-the-norm look, though she still paired it with a white shirt and a black bowtie.
Meanwhile, the Black Panther movie premiere held in May 2018 saw the actress stun in Christian Siriano’s off-the-shoulder flowy black dress with a pinch of white and blue puffy sleeves. She accessorized this look with a choker, a pair of earrings, and a clutch bag.
For the Grammy Awards in 2019, Monáe appeared in a textured Jean-Paul Gaultier short white dress that flaunted impressive structure. This piece boasted pointy triangular shoulders, and she rightly complemented it with an intriguing headpiece, earrings, and black heels.
For the 2020 Oscar Awards, the star girl made an impressive show in a custom-made Ralph Lauren hooded sparkly crystal gown with a cut-out open back.
The next time Monáe caused a show was at the 51st NAACP Image Awards in 2020 where she stunned in a black Balmain halter top and a golden-yellow and orange flowy floor-length skirt. At this point, it was clear that the star was slowly transitioning to a more sultry look, and also adding a few other colors to her signature black and white from the past years.
Instead of the typical covered-up look Monáe had opted for in the past, she decided to make things more interesting by showing up in this Christian Siriano dress for the 2021 NAACP Image Awards. The one-sleeve number with a sexy side cut-out at the waist channeled her inner baddie, while the long train added a dash of grace.
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At the European premiere closing night gala during the 66th BFI London Film Festival, Monáe again pulled up in Christian Siriano to make a statement. Her sheer red gown featured a red see-through bodice with a bralette and a rose-like balloon skirt with a sheer long train. A large red headpiece brought the show to a fine conclusion.
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Meanwhile, at the Los Angeles Movie Premiere of Glass Onion, the star came fully prepared in an Elie Saab gown. This number featured black cut-out details at the top and a flowing black, red, and white feathered skirt.
The 2023 Critics’ Choice Awards brought us a different version of Monáe. Still stuck with her signature black, she strutted in a Vera Wang cut-out see-through halter gown that was a healthy balance of sexy and chic.
For the 2023 Oscars Awards, the Glass Onion star chose a full-on sultry route in a draped orange and black Vera Wang dress. Since 2022, the star has no doubt shown off more skin and has made more fashion risks than ever in decades.
Over the years, we’ve watched in awe as Monáe transitioned from covered-up ensembles with only black and white hues, to sultry and sexier ensembles that accommodate other colors of her choice. Apparently, she’s in her free-spirited era, and we love it for the style queen.
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A creative writer with a voracious appetite for fashion, beauty, lifestyle and culture. As one who's passionate about the advancement of the woman, creating content that inspire smart style and living, and positive lifestyle changes is a calling I take seriously. At Style Rave, we aim to inspire our readers by providing engaging content to not just entertain but to inform and empower you as you ASPIRE to become more stylish, live smarter and be healthier. Follow us on Instagram @StyleRave_ ♥