When it is your work to dress a star whose strike music title drops a “cowboy hat from Gucci, Wrangler on my booty … diamond rings and Fendi athletics bras,” your fashion recreation better be sharp.
Lil Nas X, up for six Grammy Awards on Sunday, including three for his mega-hit “Old City Road,” has a style-defying, trendsetting impression that needs the sort of finessing by a stylist with a resume that transcends categorization.
“I have a foot in each environment,” says Hodo Musa by cellphone, immersed in preparations a week right before Lil Nas X will shock his followers with three customized outfits at the Grammys. “My references are distinct. I am from Somalia. I was lifted in Sweden. I have the maximalist fashion with the minimal.”
The 36-year-previous, who started styling Lil Nas X in May possibly, honed her style although modeling in London, researching trend design in Oslo, styling Norwegian pop singers and generating costumes for operas based mostly on the Supremes and Bob Marley. Her familiarity with theatrics, coupled with a fondness for mixing high- and very low-conclusion makes, arrives in helpful with Lil Nas X.
On the purple carpet of the Guess Awards very last June, Lil Nas X wore a custom made newborn-blue match accented with bouquets, leopard spots and plaid by New York-primarily based label Pyer Moss.
For the MTV Online video Songs Awards, British designer Christian Cowan ventured out of women’s put on to generate his first men’s outfit for the 20-yr-previous to dress in on the red carpet: a sequined go well with with a cropped jacket that exposed a ruffled shirt and lace cuffs in homage to Prince.
At the American Songs Awards in November, Lil Nas X turned heads in a slime eco-friendly ensemble, like a zebra-print velvet shirt and matching opera gloves, by Brooklyn-based mostly Christopher John Rogers. His feet also glowed in neon heels by United Nude X Shaun Ross.
Musa describes Lil Nas X’s type as “fun, adventurous, colourful.” It is also a boon that her collaborator “really loves to go into character,” she claims. “Only when you sense risk-free and you really like the human being you function with, that’s when the outcome like this happens. He has quite little moi. He really, like, not only created my career but also [was] crediting me, observing me, offering me the recognition that possibly other people today wouldn’t do.”
It is tricky to miss out on Musa. Her silhouette rivals Nefertiti’s, with a delicate nose, substantial cheekbones and whole lips. Multilingual, she speaks English with a gentle cadence. As the eldest of eight youngsters in a Muslim household that escaped the Somali Civil War, her identify usually means luck in Somali. She has a lot of it.
Soon after moving to L.A. last February, Musa broke into the U.S. audio business by styling Noah Cyrus. Cyrus’ manager introduced Musa to his other consumer, Lil Nas X. The movie for “Old City Road” experienced just premiered and Lil Nas X’s look in the over-the-top small was previously recognized by Cathy Hahn, who’s identified for styling Article Malone. With Musa, Lil Nas X ascended to the future level, breaking boundaries in music, manner and society as an overtly homosexual black star.
“We individually attempt to remain in a neutral thoughts and do factors that come from the heart,” she says. “It’s not this deep [thinking] that we’re going to alter the world. If you have the proper impact and reference and information of the designers you want to function with, all of these things occur the natural way.”
She carries on, “My dream is to get the job done with Lil Nas X eternally and it’s possible commence his fashion property and operate with him and direct that.” Meanwhile, her goal is “with his light all over him [to] put that gentle on persons that are lesser.”
Musa is catching some of that mild. Previous November, attending the CFDA/Vogue Manner Fund Gala in New York with Lil Nas X in coordinating black-and-white get-ups (his by Off-White, hers by Rogers), she mingled with actor Ben Platt and versions Bella and Gigi Hadid.
“We achieved Anna Wintour,” Musa recollects, referring to Vogue’s longtime editor in chief. “She arrived up to him and shook his hand. That was like the recognition me, as a stylist, desired.”
Musa has earned regard from other style insiders. “I appreciate her ideas,” says Gladys Tamez, who’s created hats for Lil Nas X as properly as Beyoncé and Girl Gaga in her L.A. studio. “To work with Hodo and produce this zebra color, this yellow hat, this purple [one], with Swarovski [crystals] — it is tremendous-pleasurable.”
Additionally, “she has real creativity, which is not observed in a large amount of stylists,” Cowan suggests. He traces the steps that commenced with his DM to her on Instagram and finished with the sequined suit. “I constantly love the artists in the glam-rock era in the ‘80s, where masculinity was proven by their self confidence to put on fabulous fabrics and all these points,” Cowan says. Slender and 6 feet 1, Lil Nas X “is certainly completely proportioned to pull off any outfit,” he provides.
Musa says what drew her to Cowan’s collection was that “it’s quite ‘80s … and the bold shade. I considered, there is a little something in this article.”
For the Grammys, Musa desires to advance Lil Nas X’s aesthetic a decade forward with a nevertheless-to-be recognized designer. “It’s heading to be the most substantial-conclusion purple carpet we’ve at any time experienced,” she states. “When it comes to this designer, we preferred to collaborate with them because they did some things in the ‘90s that’s genuinely killer.”
Supporters of Western style, just take be aware: “This will be the very last time that we [will] do a entire-on cowboy glance like this,” she suggests. “This is the era that is the conclude of ‘Old Town Road,’ and we’ll do some thing else.”