Lil' Kim Reviews the Most Scandalous Looks From the Fall Runways
(Vogue) Type “Lil’ Kim CFDA” into Google and you’ll find a virtual petition at the top of the page. It’s a plea for the council to honor the rap doyenne and style provocateur with the Fashion Icon Award. Type #LilKimCfda into the Twitter search field, and you’ll discover a feed filled with hyper-passionate fans campaigning for her to be crowned with the prestigious title. Considering the heavy impact that her breast-baring, blinged-out aesthetic has had on those who came after her in the entertainment world, it’s easy to understand the frustration. Before there was Kim Kardashian West going to get fro-yo in bedroom lingerie and Adidas track pants; Katy Perry in her blue wig and sheer diamante encrusted mini dress; and a certain pasty-wearing female lyricist turning up in the front row at Paris Fashion Week, there was Kimberly Denise Jones.
With her neon furs and embellished bikinis, Lil’ Kim brought sex appeal to the male-dominated rap game in the ’90s and beyond. She made it cool to wear things like beaded headdresses and purple glitter pasties on the red carpet, and she formed tight, lasting relationships with some of fashion’s biggest players. Early on in her career, she’d be spotted hugging the likes of Giorgio Armani while dressed in a thong-baring black chainmail dress. In 2005 she attended the Met Gala on the arm of her close friend Marc Jacobs, and since then, she’s been a regular fixture at his shows. She also often visits him for lunch at his studio where he shows her mood boards and fabrics and her song “How Many Licks?” plays in the background.
This season, Lil’ Kim came out to support Jacobs at his hip-hop themed outing. “I was so impressed,” she says. “It was such a masculine but sexy look and that’s everything I stand for.” She adds, “If you know anything about how hip-hop first came onto the scene, it was really about breaking down the barriers. When Mary J. Blige started out, look what she had on: a baseball cap turned to the back, but guess what? Her hair was done to the gods and Mary had on that little baseball shirt and nothing else except bootie shorts and some sexy Doc Martens with lace stockings.” Lil’ Kim calls that “chic gangstress,” and it’s a look that’s inspired an entirely new generation of entertainers with a knack for peacocking—copycats and all.
Speaking of knockoffs, Lil’ Kim isn’t fazed by artists who take close notes when it comes to her personal style evolution. However, respect is key. “Imitation is the best form of flattery,” she says. “Kylie Jenner, who is basically my extended family, once said publicly that I inspire her and I love how she gave me props. I thank people like her for always acknowledging and admitting that they base some of their style off of mine.” As far as Lil’ Kim’s fashion muses go, she believes in the power of singularity and keen intuition. As she explains, “When you’re a fashionista, you always know what kind of big trend is coming and you go with it—Hey honey, you’re just born with it and when you know, you know.”
In fact Lil’ Kim is so confident in her wardrobe choices at the moment, that she’s decided to venture back into fashion design. She’s in talks to re-release her now defunct clothing line Hollyhood, under a different name. Though at present it’s unclear what the label will stock, there’s no doubt that there will be a leotard and plenty of thigh-high heels in the offing. She might still be waiting for that CFDA award, but as more and more female stars take to Instagram to post sultry selfies in bra tops, it’s clear that Lil’ Kim’s fiery style is as relevant and revered as ever. Her advice to the ladies following in her footsteps? Take notes, but just do you. “I always came with my own creativity,” she says. “You can’t look back and say, Oh, Kim reminds me of so and so—I don’t remind anyone of anyone.” Above, the queen of daring style drops some knowledge about seven of this season’s most scandalous runway looks. All hail!
“I don’t know what they were going for with this but it would probably be a beautiful Halloween piece. I could see Lady Gaga wearing this to the Grammys in a very artistic way.”
“As much as I love feathers and fur, I know that this wouldn’t be for me because I’m petite and curvy. It’s also a little bit too much with the bag, but again, I think if someone is pulling out their artistic vibes it would be great. Solange Knowles would wear something like this. I’m just too small for this look. I’m 5-foot, even, but when I wear my heels I’m 5 foot 3 inches. I wear heels for everything—if I was in the pool I might wear my heels.”
“I like the bodysuit a lot but the other piece, I don’t quite understand. It looks like an egg carton. But it does catch your eye in some strange way. Bodysuits are my thing and I love them, especially a cat suit—it helps bring out my inner kitten, rawr, rawr! I always wear them and its sort of like when you see Tina Turner wearing the fringe, you know it’s her thing, honey. Bodysuits are my thing.”
Fenty x Puma
“The way she [Rihanna] put this look together it reminds me of a rich rock star who likes to get a little bit turnt up. She’s a rock star who says, ‘I’m so fucking high but I’m so fucking fly at the same time.’ I might not do the look with the boxer shorts but I think this is definitely a signature Rihanna look. She’d do it in her own little sexy way.”
“I’d maybe wear this in a video. I’ve worn things like this to award shows, but I would have done something a little different and maybe not with the T-shirt and jean short combo. Maybe it would just be the bodysuit with a fat Gucci bracelet and a Gucci thong. What about some Gucci pasties? They should hire me this year—remember that I said it first, some Gucci pasties. I think all of my celebrity friends would go for it. That’s so dope, I amaze myself sometimes. Gucci pasties with the gold double G’s right over the nipple and you can get them encrusted in diamonds if you want to.”
“I’ve been wearing a lot of Moschino lately. Jeremy [Scott] is my baby, I’ve always rocked his stuff and we’ve always been fans of each other. Now this dress, minus the trash can hat, could be nice for a certain client going to a red carpet event, but honestly, it’s not my favorite. I don’t want to feel like I’m in the trash can or I’m a piece of trash. But this could also be a very sexy Halloween costume—you could be a sexy piece of trash. I guess one girl’s trash is another girl’s treasure.”
“I think out of everything, this is my favorite look. Versace can do no wrong as far as I’m concerned, and you know how I feel about my girl Dona. It’s a dress but it has a bodysuit feel, which again, is my thing. Anything that is sheer with embroidery, I’m already sold. I also love the fact that it says loyalty down the side of it because loyalty is a big part of what I stand for. You need to wear this to remind people since there are a lot of them who don’t know what that word means anymore.”