Solange Knowles’s Stylist Will Do Anything to Hunt Down a Look


This interview has been edited and condensed.

Tell me about your process with Solange for the videos.

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Ms. Knowles, center, in an Acne Studios coat and Tibi shoes.

Credit
Carlota Guerrero

First, I listened to the music, which was very special and very moving. Then Solange sat down with me and started to tell me how she wanted the visuals to look. It was really important for her that the visuals made black women and men look regal and majestic. She wanted the women, especially, to show sisterhood. So there was a lot of uniformity and making sure that everything matched, what I like to call twinning.

She had worked with Carlota Guerrero, the video’s art director, and they knew the color palette. Solange is known for prints, bright colors and color blocking, but she’s definitely evolved and is embracing these nudes and muted colors and this softness. But by the time she sat down with me, she had really concrete ideas about the location, and how she wanted it to look.

What looks does she gravitate toward?

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An Issey Miyake-inspired look created by Solange, Tina Lawson (her mother) and a seamstress.

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Carlota Guerrero

I think aesthically she is unlike any other friend I have or anyone else I’ve worked with, because she doesn’t care about labels, about brands, about any of the contrived things. She really lets the clothes speak to her. She loves unknown and emerging designers. For example, a designer whose clothes are in Croatia in a museum. That actually happened.

Tell me about the Croatia piece.

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Ms. Knowles at the “Manus x Machina: Fashion In An Age Of Technology” Metropolitan Costume Institute Gala in May.

Credit
Mike Coppola/Getty Images for People.com

We worked together for the Met Gala this year, and it was a really exciting theme for her. Her interpretation of the theme [Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology] was very different than other people’s. They all went metallics. And she was more about the construction of the piece, the architecture of the piece and the technology that went into designing it.

So she found this designer, and I found out that his work lived in this museum in Croatia. So it was basically impossible for me to get in time for the Met Gala. And I was also like, “I don’t think you can sit in this.” But when it came time to brainstorm and discuss the videos, I was able to pull up all of that research for the Met and thought, “It’s a video, so you don’t have to sit in it or eat in it.”

How does she find these designers?

I don’t know. I ask her all the time. It’s kind of in her nature to find these off-the-beaten-path brands. She will send me texts and emails of screenshots. She will never know the name brands or anything like that, because that is so irrelevant to her. So I’m on this treasure hunt to find where she found this, where she saw it, how it came to her. I think that is really special, because we work in an industry where the name holds so much weight. It was really refreshing to work with her. And to see that none of those things mean anything to her. We are a good balance, because I have brands I live and die by, but it makes me step out of my comfort zone and find other designers and celebrate them as well.