What do you get when you take five gorgeous women wearing the same thing and form them into a giant venn diagram? A clash of personalities, that’s what.
At Monday night’s American Music Awards, Cardi B was the star of the night, literally, taking the stage in a blue bodycon gown with a puffy cape extending from her shoulders in lieu of her arms. (She made quite a first impression when she performed her song “Be Careful” for the first time.)
The audience didn’t get the shock of their eye when Cardi, a rapper and the first female rapper to top the Billboard 200, took to the stage in a traditional, red collared gown — only to walk to the exit, where she is then credited with arriving in a sheer dress. Taped to the back of the gown was what appeared to be a puffy pink cape, which swaddled Cardi from the waist down.
Before the 20-minute-long performance, Cardi posed for photographs in her gown. She was the talk of the press room backstage, where she was bombarded with questions about the fashion mishap, which is a bit of a surprise, because Cardi B has recently been talking about her love of costume changes.
Last month she appeared on “Saturday Night Live” as Daisy Duke, flaunting her curves and her great hair and makeup in a denim skirt suit with a floppy, feather boa draping her legs. It set the stage for Monday night’s nearly wardrobe-switching performance.
What was she thinking? There were no cameras rolling for Cardi to answer, so we will have to ponder it further. The controversy over the ensemble might have already made it to the Vanity Fair Oscars party the night before, where some of the industry’s biggest stars chose to wear similar dresses for an amazing fashion crash.
It was a pop culture moment that can be summed up in a single word: Cardi B. In December, another “selfie-snatching” star, Cardi B. was the first lady of the new Time’s Up legal defense fund, a project she spearheaded that offers monetary support to victims of sexual assault, harassment and workplace misconduct. (The owner of the Time’s Up sign pictured with Cardi B. was the magazine’s former editor in chief.)
The comedian Tiffany Haddish was presenting the American Music Award for artist of the year to Cardi B. In an attempt to bring the rapper to her feet, she said, “We are family. You need to fight for women like me. I love you. We need you. I’m here for you. We need more women like you. We need more actresses like you. We need more women of color like you.”
But if there’s a bigger opinion card in fashion than the slim silhouette of a dress? It might be this: This outfit clashes with everything else about Cardi B. She is pushing boundaries with her new music and style — but she really doesn’t belong in an outfit like that.
Cardi B. is black. She does not make a lot of fashion statements, and she doesn’t have a catwalk like a J.Lo or a Madonna to strut. A little color in the fabric is enough to make a bold statement, and most of us probably bought into that with Cardi B.
For some other lyrics that don’t belong, watch the video at the top of this post. Cardi B.’s album dropped on the same day that the American Music Awards took place, so the two have a lot in common.
Here’s one more.
My daddies go by his name Rasta, boy what was that? He looks like he got a McDonald’s chicken salad on his fried chicken wings, but I ain’t pickin’ up all the pieces Rasta, is pickin’ up the pieces I ain’t pickin’ up the pieces