Serving you surreal black cowgirl Afrofuture realness in Telfar, vintage Mugler, Tom Ford-era Gucci, and more
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, by now it’s likely you’ll have found yourself swept up in the (well-deserved) hype around Solange Knowles’ newly released album When I Get Home.
A futuristic, jazzy ode to her birthplace of Houston, the album is a sophisticated follow-up to 2016’s A Seat at the Table – but it’s not just sounds Knowles is serving you. Following closely behind came an accompanying film featuring all 19 tracks, which was apparently six months in the making. That’s right: Solange is feeding both your eyes and your ears with that good good.
Shot by photographer and videographer Cary Fagan, the 33 minute-long film literally epitomises #BlackExcellence, featuring an amazing cast of real black cowboys, actors, dancers, even Zolarmoon – the stripper behind that crazy Twitter story, who appears in a futuristic space look designed by the OG, Ms Tina Knowles.
Tina Knowles’ out of this world lewks aren’t where it ends though. If that weren’t enough to leave you bald and shaking, archive Helmut Lang, Telfar, Tom Ford-era Gucci, Balenciaga, Moncler by Craig Green, and Gareth Pugh are all on the line-up, alongside newer upcoming names including Esmay Wagemans and Keren Wolf.
As styled by Kyle Luu – with the wider cast dressed by Mecca James-Williams and @larrydavidswife – the visuals propel you 1000 years into the future, to a place where Afrofuturism meets Black Cowboys, with all the usual surreal artistic touches you’d expect from a project curated by Solange. And a special-shout also goes out to Dazed 100er Jawara for that mind-blowing 96-inch weave in “Way to the Show”.
Here we round-up our fave looks from When I Get Home.
ALL THAT GLITTERS
OK, so we know it’s the first one, but this look is easily the best: the one that’s all over the ‘gram, where Solange twists and dances in slow motion, as her heavily crystalled look twirls and sparkles in the light. An IRL manifestation of the KiraKira app, the custom-made glittering bikini is designed by LA-based jewellery company Lace By Tanya. And what better way to accompany the look than with a partner who’s completely shrouded in glittering crystals themselves?
Black Twitter has had its finger on the pulse of the black cowboy trend – also known as the yeehaw agenda – for a while now, but Solange just went and took it to another level with WIGH. Featuring IRL black cowboys riding horses and bucking broncos – outfitted by costume designer Carlos Soto – the singer gets in on the action herself, appearing in a number of monochromatic cowgirl looks. Whether it’s via vintage Helmut Lang or tailored jackets with metallic bras underneath, everything is accessorised with a Stetson (obvs). We hit peak-cowgirl via an off-the-shoulder asymmetrical Telfar vest and black oversized vinyl pants courtesy of Gareth Pugh, though. Yeehaw sis!
This look doesn’t appear in the film itself, but as part of Solange’s dossier on Black Planet, it definitely deserves a mention. Custom-made by New York designer and model Yena Leung, the Josephine Baker-meets-Star Trek look is covered in transparent crystal beads and nods in the direction of Prada’s SS10 collection. Obviously, with a need to bring in the yeehaw, the look is accessorised with sheer (yes) cowboy boots designed by fellow New Yorker Peter Do, in his signature ‘Spacer’ material. As Leung says on Instagram: “Never knew I needed sheer cowboy boots till now.”
STRAIGHT UP SEXY
Treading the line between masculine and feminine with her cowboy/cowgirl looks, Solange knows how to do sexy, too. And what better way to prove that than to throw some Tom Ford-era Gucci into the mix? Taken directly from David Casavant’s archive, Solange gives new life to a bra top from the SS00 collection (and gives us life in the process), which she pairs with sheer sleeves and shorts courtesy of Parsons graduate Rui Zhou. Elsewhere in the “Way to the Show” segment of the film, Solange appears with a gang of dancers in matching snakeskin boots designed by New York-based label Brother Vellies. These boots are not only made for walking, but for strutting, dancing, and snapping necks too.
SURREAL LADY OF THE LAKE
Appearing in the Max Hirschberger-shot images – along with the eyelid jewellery that stars on the album’s cover – this surreal look is designed by Amsterdam-based designer and self-described ‘science fiction artist’ Esmay Wagemans. The minimal image shows Solange with natural hair, while the perspex-like top affixes her hands to her breasts.
BLACK BOT REALNESS
Joining the recent slew of celebrities turning out vintage Mugler – with Cardi B and Kim Kardashian-West among them – Solange chose a silver bodysuit from Thierry Mugler’s SS91 show for this particular look, which you might just recognise from Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi” video. Ditching the look’s accompanying helmet and accessorising instead with metallic cowboy boots (obviously), Solange is serving 3019 black android excellence. Who better to accompany her into the future than sister Beyoncé, who serves up a similar look (albeit in gold, with crystal accents) in her “Sweet Dreams” video. C3P-oh no she didn’t.
BONUS: MOSS BOSS LADY
While this look wasn’t worn by Solange (as far as we’re aware) its artistry cannot go unmentioned. Created by costume designer Sarah Williams, the look is literally a moss-covered creation that from afar looks like a sculpted hedge, which eventually springs to life at the end of “Dreams”.