6 posts tagged "Alicia Keys"
Alicia Keys kicked off her international Set the World on Fire tour on March 7. And according to her stylist, Laura Jones, her performances are all about the singing, rather than fancy costumes (unlike some pop stars). “Alicia doesn’t like to do a lot of costume changes. We’re not trying to build up some big embellished look [and] we didn’t want her to be hidden by the clothes,” says Jones, who’s been dressing Keys for a year. (They met while Jones was assisting Edward Enninful at W magazine.) But just because Keys is all about the notes doesn’t mean she neglects her onstage aesthetic. For the tour, Jones tells us that they went for strong, sexy, and sophisticated. “Alicia really, really loves clothes and she’s really hands on. She’s hit a place in her life where she’s feeling really confident. We wanted her wardrobe to reflect that,” explains Jones. In order to achieve Keys’ bold but pared-down look, Jones enlisted the help of Michael Kors (who designed the shimmering blue gown Keys wears at the end of her set, as well as the red stunner she donned while singing at the Inauguration last January) and Akris’ Albert Kriemler, who created a host of custom wares.
“The focus was on details, fit, and flattering cuts,” says Jones, noting that Kriemler worked closely with her and Keys for months (in fact, before he met the star, Jones sent him YouTube videos of Keys performing so he could get a sense of how she moves on stage). “It’s all about understanding how she’s going to perform and knowing what fabrics are camera friendly and body friendly,” she adds. (Apparently, jersey is a safe bet for all of the above.) “My job is to make sure the clothes never get in the way of her performance. They should maximize her movements, maximize how she feels, and be a great marriage of functionality, sophistication, and longevity. She’s touring for the rest of the year, so she needs to wear something that won’t feel stale in a couple of months,” offers Jones, explaining that the designers made Alicia around seven different outfits so that she can change up her visage from one performance to the next.
As for the end result, it seems Keys’ team nailed it—last night, the singer gave an animated performance at L.A.’s Staples Center in an Akris V-neck paillette bodysuit and a black Maison Michel hat. So how does the singer feel about her Set the World on Fire wardrobe? “The tour is about a journey to freedom and personal strength,” Keys told Style.com. “I wanted to embody that energy and spirit. The Akris looks that Albert Kriemler designed for me are the perfect balance of striking, strong, glamorous, and chic. I feel empowered on stage wearing them.” Jones was pretty happy about it, too. “When you see it on stage, and everyone is screaming, and she looks so divine, you know you’ve done a good job. And that feels great.”
It feels like mere months ago the world suddenly flooded with “curators.” Now? Creative directors. What used to be reserved for the top of a fashion company or the top of a masthead can now be applied just about anywhere and to just about anyone—which is how it’s come to pass that RIM, the company that makes the BlackBerry, announced its own global creative director today: Ms. Alicia Keys. Her role: to make music videos with the new BlackBerry 10 while on tour. But no, you cannot BBM her.
In related news, RIM isn’t the only tech company to jump on the bandwagon: Last year, Intel named The Black Eyed Peas’ Will.i.am as director of creative innovation, and today Samsung announced that it will collaborate with Alexander Wang. And three makes a trend.
Fashion’s favorites have been hitting the track lately. Designer/car collaborations have been on the rise for a year or more, from Victoria Beckham’s “creative design executive” appointment at Range Rover to Gucci’s limited-edition Fiat. Last night, Lotus celebrated its new partner-in-design, producer, rapper, and front-row fashion watcher Swizz Beatz, with a party at Frank Gehry’s IAC Building in New York, which also served to toast the fourth and latest issue of Lotus Magazine.
The crowd was largely split between business suits and Timberland boots, but it wasn’t gentlemen only. There were several women in long evening dresses queuing up for photos next to the shiny red Lotus Evora. Evora duties for the magazine’s cover had been taken by Sasha Grey, the porn star-turned-actress of The Girlfriend Experience, who was painted driving one by artist Richard Phillips. He seemed as impressed by his automotive subject as his flesh and blood one. “These cars are as badass as you can imagine,” he said admiringly.
Beatz is the company’s newly appointed vice president of creative design and global marketing, making it his second creative appointment; he holds a similar title at the footwear company Reebok. (He also performed at the event, alongside rapper T.I.) But he was eager to clarify that this wasn’t a pay-for-play arrangement. “I wanna make clear that this was not an endorsement where I’m just getting paid money to be here,” he announced, standing next to Lotus CEO Dany Bahar. “This was a true creative collaboration where I was able to creatively step outside the box.” Cheers, applause, and camera flashes flooded the room soon after the two men, along with Russell Simmons and Beatz’ wife, Alicia Keys, revealed the Swizz-designed chrome-colored Evora GTE.
It’s been a packed week in London, which has hosted the Sex and the City ladies, the National Movie Awards, and, last night, Alicia Keys, who had hosting duties of her own at the Keep a Child Alive Black Ball. The R&B chanteuse opted for custom Dolce & Gabbana for the event, which raised money for orphaned children. The bubble-skirted Dolce gown is an over-the-top choice, but one that Keys pulls off nicely. She counterbalanced the flounce with very little jewelry and understated hair and makeup, letting the dress command the attention. Bonus points for the killer studded-and-sparkled Louboutin pumps, which add a little glam-rock edge, and for that as-yet-unseen accessory: the baby bump. Keys confirmed last night that she’s engaged to producer Swizz Beats, and pregnant with the couple’s first child.