We break down the fashion in the rapper’s just-dropped visuals
Missy Elliott – the long-reigning queen of hip hop – has just dropped the insane music video for her latest single “WTF (Where They From)” ft. Pharrell Williams. Filmed in a series of locations around New York, the video features a cast of dancers including Les Twins and her marionette doppelgänger, who is joined by Pharrell Williams (also in puppet-form). As for the fashion, Dazed’s July 2005 cover star has put a futuristic spin on her hip hop signature, with a disco ball-esque tracksuit, Roy Lichenstein-inspired beauty looks, head torches, glow-in-the-dark patches and a balance board fitted with LEDs. Here we break down all the looks in this new audio-visual epic.
The opening look in the music video is a grey tracksuit embellished with fragments of a shattered mirror worn with matching lipstick. Whether intentional or not, this effect was employed by Jonathan Anderson in a top, pair of trousers and asymmetrical slip dress featured in his SS16 collection for Loewe. Refracting light across the wall behind her, Elliott’s disco ball-esque tracksuit also featured the song title – “WTF” – emblazoned in capitals across the front.
THE BASEBALL JERSEY
Next up was a series of baseball jerseys worn by both Elliott and her troupe of backing dancers. This is more familiar style territory for the rapper as she’s worn similar jerseys throughout her career, for example on the cover of her hit 2002 single “Work It”. The black and white tops in this video are marked with the number 93, which is perhaps a reference to her musical debut: a feature in Raven-Symoné’s 1993 single “That’s What Little Girls Are Made Of”.
THE ROY LICHTENSTEIN INSPIRED LOOK
Backed by Les Twins (identical twin brothers Laurent and Larry Bourgeois who have danced for Beyoncé and modelled for Jean Paul Gaultier), this scene features Elliott dressed in a look inspired by iconic American pop artist Roy Lichenstein. As well as the adidas trefoil logo, the shirt features the text “WOOSH” – the sound effect that featured in the artists 1963 painting ““Whaam!”. The shirt, along with Elliott’s face, is also decorated with dots resembling the pointillist painting technique favoured by the artist.
THE SECOND SPORTS JERSEY
Again joined by Les Twins, this scene features Elliott wearing another sports jersey – this one emblazoned with the number “8” not “93”. While the symbolism of this number remains a mystery, Elliott pairs this jersey with a medallion necklace and dramatic black-and-blue make-up.
While it’s now standard practice for brands (even the most underground labels) to have Barbies affiliated with their names, it’s less common for musicians to do so. “WTF” however sees the debut of Missy Elliott and Pharrell Williams in marionette form. Manipulated with strings, the dolls pull similar moves to their real life counterparts. While Williams is dressed in a biker jacket, pair of jeans and a sailor’s hat (naturally), Elliott is again dressed in blue and red baseball jacket with matching cropped joggers and a “WTF” snapback.
THE PROTECTIVE SUIT
Dancing in a warehouse, this scene features Elliott dressed in a plastic protective suits (the sort you when working around hazardous chemicals or bees). She also wears some gigantic silver hoop earrings and a very 90s pair of diamanté-embellished wrap-around shades. As for her purple haired backing dancer, she’s dressed in an equally 90s white crop-top and a pair of Ashish-y sequinned jeans.
THE GLOW-IN-THE-DARK NUMBERS
Continuing the sequin-embellished themes, this shot features Elliott’s dance troupe in similarly sparkly hot pants. Accessorising their looks with head torches, the dancers’ tracksuits are fitted with patches of glow-in-the-dark fabrics. As for shoes, they wear Nike Air Force 1 ’07 trainers – a style worn at Elliott’s appearance during Katy Perry’s Super Bowl performance in February this year.
Watch Missy Elliott – “WTF (Where They From)” ft. Pharrell Williams below: