To many a millennial, rapper Missy Elliott is an obvious choice to front a brand as major as Marc Jacobs, and most of us have been scratching our heads wondering why this hasn’t happened sooner.
Reason being, that as much as she’s known for her DGAF flow, Timbaland-produced beats and surreal Hype Williams-shot music videos, Missy Misdemeanor Elliott is considered something of a fashion icon – regularly wearing her artistic heart on her sleeve, back, head and feet, and claiming an entire decade with her memorable style.
While we at SPICE are overjoyed to find the star fronting Marc Jacobs’ Autumn/Winter’16 campaign, and are busy thinking all things ‘Movement’ this month, we list 8 that Ms Elliott made her own with her game-changing sense of style.
1. Size Accentuation
Well, curvy ladies and even those without hips can appreciate that when a megastar steps out in a look that celebrates their size – especially during the ’90s, when Herion Chic was a thing – respect needs to be thrown their way.
In the case of Missy Elliott’s “The Rain (Supa Dupa Fly)” video we’ve a sack (similar in size to the one she’s wearing) full of kudos to empty upon the star, who doubled her stature physically and metaphorically by wearing an inflatable plastic suit – and was therefore fully deserving of the crown she accessorised it with.
2. Denim on Denim
You’ve never seen double or triple denim done the way Missy Elliott does it. Apparently, same shade denim on denim action is how they do it where she’s from.
Yes, move over JT and Britney, because Missy E needs all the denim going to create her ensembles, which see denim on denim on denim – rhinestoned, painted, torn apart… No matter, apparently, so long as it’s denim.
Want to steal the look? Think ‘all the denims, all at once’.
3. Spray Paint Portraits
Another of Missy’s things was painted portraits – the sort you’d expect to see sprayed on walls as part of graffiti… but instead, she’d be wearing it.
And such portraits needn’t be restricted to her chest or back; sometimes she’d “Work It” with a knee portrait, because why not.
Though the honour wasn’t reserved for just her own face either, as Missy also wore a few of her beloveds on her back (and the hood of her car) – including the late Baby Girl, Aaliyah when she passed, and Lisa Lefteye Lopez.
4. Goggles, Hats & Bandanas
Tinted sunglasses that looked like goggles were a look for Missy, and she wore them frequently in her early videos.
But even when she outgrew those, the hat and bandana combination (hat to the side, bandana peeking out) remained a staple – the rapper looking her supadupafly-est when rocking a fluffy flat cap that probably made LL Cool J weep.
That tip where you take at least one accessory off before leaving the house? We reckon for at least ten years, Missy was doing that in reverse, and never leaving the house without checking she had her jewels, bandana and hat on as a minimum.
5. Eye & Lip
As well as being all about the accessories, the star’s certainly all about makeup too, with Ms Elliott’s beauty game having been on point since day one.
And it was never either a lip or an eye look – despite what the best makeup artists will tell you, to make an impact like Missy E, it’s not about picking one feature to accentuate, but socking it to ’em, with two.
For Missy, it was always full throttle with a heavy eye look (the best available being here) and a rich lip to contrast. And Missy wouldn’t look like Missy without it.
6. Her Hurr
Hairstyling was equally important for Missy E – hers always coiffed to perfection and looking sleek no matter the style.
The queen of reinvention made sure to surprise us with her looks too, changing from braids, to a cropped and waved ‘do as quickly as she’d transform her spiky pixie cut into a long and sleek style.
No wonder she couldn’t stand the rain.
7. Hoop Earrings
And of course, wherever Missy’s head was, a set of hoops were too. In fact, it’s like it’s impossible to tear her away from hoop earrings.
Clearly, these have been her thing from day one. Less clear, is whether or not Ms Elliott rents a flat to house them, despite owning enough pairs to fill one.
From elaborate ’80s styles that came baring her name (“Is That Yo Chick?” – just check the name hanging from her lobes) to diamante pairs, most are so big and oversized, we’re surprised she doesn’t collapse or topple about under the weight of them onstage.
The one thing we can’t forget Missy Elliott for? Probably that Adidas-endorsed obsession with zip-up tracksuits, which she seems to have in every colour.
For years, the rapper kept us wishing we had a 3-stripe pant and hoody combo, and that she’d share the secret to keeping one of the legs rolled up for more than just a couple of steps.
Though we have a feeling that nobody rocked the look better than she did; no matter which she wore, she looked really, really hot.
But what do you know the rapper’s wardrobe for? Tell us about the most memorable style movements Missy Elliott started in the comments box or online @SPICETVAFRICA, then check out her new ad for Marc Jacobs’ Autumn/Winter’16 campaign here.
Image source: Buzzfeed.com, It.cantanti.wikia.com, Fuckyeahmissyelliott.tumblr.com, Rollingstone.com, Prince.org, Solarcigarette.com, Tumblr.com, K1x.com, Aufeminin.com, Eonline.com, Dailymail.co.uk, Nadlanu.com, Belfasttelegraph.co.uk, Theawl.com