Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 17 August 2019

The hidden message in Cardi B's amazing Grammys dress: this is the year of Venus Rising

The rapper collected her award in a dress inspired by Botticelli's famous painting - a perfect choice for the unabashed, bold and confident rising star

Cardi B in vintage Thierry Mugler at the 61st Grammy Awards. Reuters
Cardi B in vintage Thierry Mugler at the 61st Grammy Awards. Reuters

At major award ceremonies, the pressure is always on to have the best look, and singers battle it out for the most showstopping outfit of the evening. At the Grammy Awards, held in Los Angeles last night, Cardi B won hands down, blowing everyone else off the stage in a vintage Thierry Mugler couture gown.

Hailing from Mugler’s 1995 winter couture show – itself created for the 20th celebration of the French house – the dress Cardi B wore is an homage to The Birth of Venus, the 1480s painting by Botticelli, which depicts the goddess Venus rising from the sea on a scallop shell. The piece was originally worn on the catwalk by Roman model Siomnetta Gianfelici:

Sculpted by Mugler himself, the dress has the shell wrapped around the hips, lined in oyster pink silk with matching gloves. Worn with a shimmering mother-of-pearl body suit, the gown fishtails up from the floor in inky blue velvet. Fittingly, given the watery theme, Cardi B's styling team finished the lookwith multiple pearls around the neck, hips and catching the hair.

A powerful message about Cardi B's rising power

This dress caused a sensation when it was first shown and, in wearing it to the Grammys, Cardi B delivers a powerful message about her rising power, as she became the first solo woman to win a Grammy for a rap album, beating Nipsey Hussle, Travis Scott and Mac Miller, who died last September.

Given the singer’s colourful past, it's fitting that she chose to honour Venus, the goddess of love and fertility. We do wonder how she sat down, though (apparently it took five people to get her out of the car).

As a statement, this was a coup de grace.

Cardi B was styled by her long-time collaborator Kollin Carter (who is responsible for many of the singer's most daring looks), and with so many other powerful women in attendance – Lady Gaga, Alicia Keys and even former First Lady Michelle Obama – the message was clear: this is the year of Venus Rising.

Cardi B in vintage Thierry Mugler at the 61st Grammy Awards. AP
Cardi B: rapper, political commentator, modern-day feminist icon.

Updated: February 11, 2019 11:43 AM

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