With ‘Fugees star Lauryn Hill set to stun Lagos this week at the Mayday Live concert at Eko Hotel – the star’s first ever performance in Nigeria – we at SPICE have been thinking up ways to rock Ms Hill’s style signatures, with aims to channel her taste in time to attend the big event.
Below is a few key notes to apply to one’s wardrobe, as evidenced in Ms Hill’s style history so far – so read on as we give you The Score on stealing her style and see if you “can’t match this rapper slash actress”…
1. Get Out the Grammys
True Lauryn Hill fans will know that the talent has been highly decorated with awards during her on-again-off-again career, but most notably in 1999 – after previously winning 2 Grammys with her group, The Fugees – Ms Hill became the first woman or hip hop artist ever to take home 5 Grammy awards.
Not likely to get your hands on the total of 7 Grammys Lauryn has in her closet? Then you’d best adorn yourself with gold jewellery instead and stay dreaming.
2. Jewel Up
And while we’re talking adornment, it’s worth noting that Lauryn’s arsenal of accessories always includes jewels of epic proportions; jewellery of the statement-making variety, which is usually manifested in chunky gold, worn plentifully by way of a bangle stack to both wrists or layers of necklaces.
If you don’t have the balls (or the neck strength) to step out blinged up to the level of a Christmas tree, wearing the star’s much-loved, big, gold earrings, then simply adorn yourself in a set of boho beads, a la the Lauryn we’ve all known and loved for years. These for N6,500 will nail it.
3. Leave the House ‘Superfly’ Like…
During Lauryn’s throwback ’90s days, early in her career, the rapstress was often spied doing the ghetto fabulous thing in ensembles made up of the low-key streetwear staples that have remained synonymous with her and The Fugees.
Think sporty jackets, baggy jeans and big buckled belts and you’re basically there, but just don’t try to make the outfit ‘pretty’ (enter the minimal makeup trend we detailed, here) as the look requires the sense that you actually dress this way regularly, and aren’t just trying to look cute in some sot of ’90s-inspired ‘costume,’ like Rita Ora or Rihanna often does…
4. Go Minimal
Also telling of her early days in the limelight are Lauryn’s uber ’90s, minimalist looks – the type that involve little more than a fine knit jumper, a basic tee or strappy top, usually worn with low rise, loose-fit pants.
Jazzed up only by the statement jewels we mentioned above, the basic look was fresh, raw and remains to serve as wardrobe inspiration for the style we’re all trying to nail for Spring/Summer’15 – like Lauryn was speaking to this season’s designers when she said “everything you did has already been done…”
5. Go Natural
Another standout feature of Lauryn’s looks (like we were ever going to leave this from our list) is her hair, whether it be her braids, locs or afro ‘do, which have helped define her style icon-ship over the decades.
Ms Hill has and continues to seamlessly move from one hairstyle to another, with each coiffed look framing her pretty face and giving her an additional dose of cool.
To truly capture her essence though, we at SPICE suggest you try her thin, Coolio-style locs, which have always been a favourite look of ours.
6. Have A Hat On
If there’s one thing Lauryn has collected more of than Grammys, it’s hats; big, small, urban, classic, Lauryn Hill has a real thing for headgear, which a quick ganders at her style history will prove;
If you’re not planning to rock your ‘fro or a set of thin locs as we suggested (rude), just top your outfit off with a hat of any sort for a nod to L. Boogie’s major style. We’ll take ours off to you if you manage to look as good as she.
7. Start Wrapping
Hoping to do a Lauryn Hill but find it’s too hot for a hat? Try wrapping your hair under a silk scarf instead, of which the songstress also appears to be rather fond.
The singer has always adopted a printed version, which she either wears alone or under a hat even, but all the while exuding the urban-boho vibe that we’re not sure anyone else can pull off properly. Good luck in your pursuit though.
8. Recall the Bygone Eras
The strongest vibe sensed through Lauryn’s style over the years is a vintage one, with the “Zion” singer literally going back to the “Doowop” days in both her music and her wardrobe, by digging out cool, key retro pieces from the bygone eras for unforgettable stage performances and for wearing in life, in general.
We while at SPICE are likely to love anything that has been touched by Ms Hill, we’re especially fond of this bright, retro-print shirt and wide tan belt, and will be hitting our favourite vintage store (Nigeria’s first, in fact), Retrospective in search of our own. We’ll race you to this deadringer for Lauryn’s shirt on Jumia here, too.
9. Go Bright Or Go Home
Lauryn also channels the bygone eras via her beauty, which is either ‘barley there’ (get the look, here) or painted on the polar opposite way: bright and clashing in loud colours a la the ’70s and onwards.
A staple makeup look for Lauryn has been her boldly-hued eyeshadows and lipstick, with her pout often ringed with a liner too, so beauty-lovers do be brave when heading out this May bank holiday – the only time we at SPICE will understand why you’re wearing the entire Mac counter on your eyes and lips.
10. Get Eclectic: Wear Everything You Own
As signature and standalone as her voice is, Lauryn’s taste (in case you aren’t clued up via the 9 hints above) is pretty eclectic, having moved from streetwear to minimalist-chic in the ’90s, from locs to braids, blow outs and afros, to ’70s-inspired vintage finds and blingy, boho jewels.
But increasingly, and ever since her hiatus in the 2000s, Ms Hill has embodied some sort of mood board for all her influences, being spied in colourful, fun and free-minded ensembles that inspire us to throw on all our favourite things in one outfit, too.
Lauryn never leaves home without proving she has the “Ex-Factor” when it comes to style, and hopefully now you’ll have a similar success when getting dressed for her concert in Lagos this weekend.
And please do show us you Lauryn Hill-inspired outfits online, tagging us @SPICETVAFRICA on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – but only if you’re looking fly and worthy of an “Ooh la la la…” Anything less and we’ll be sending you one back like;
Image source: Necolebitchie.com, Poiseandprecision.com, Stylefrizz.com, Rollingstone.com, Shatterproofglassdolls.com, Telegraph.co.uk, Huffpost.com, Thehollywoodgossip.com, Stereogum.com, Nupe.co.uk, Verysmartbrothas.com, Asos-media.com, Billboard.com