Over the weekend, Nicki Minaj kicked off the U.S. tour of her Pinkprint Tour and, with it, blessed us with a glimpse of her new performance outfits. There's lace, there's fur, and, of course, a whole lotta sparkle.
We spoke to The Blonds—David and Phillipe, the designer duo behind one of the new looks—via email about the concept behind the outfit, why artists are changing performance outfits so frequently, and more.
MTV: This new outfit you made for Nicki is awesome! What are the major differences between this and the one you made for the European leg of The Pinkprint Tour?
The Blonds: Thanks! This segment of the show is the climax and includes hits like "Anaconda." The set colors were gold with green lighting, so we decided to go with a sophisticated black and gold combo for the European leg and the American leg is something more bold and over the top, ALL GOLD EVERYTHING!
All of the embroidery and materials on the pieces are meant to mimic large snake scales. Each look had slight differences and placement was key so that every curve would be flattered and highlighted. Also a half skirt was made from gold plate chainmaille on both looks with the back panel purposefully left out so that the fabric would feature the posterior in a fabulous way.
MTV: Did you send Nicki the two looks separately or at the same time? Did you know they’d be worn on different legs?
The Blonds: These were done at separate times and made especially for each leg. The set list changed a bit so we took that into consideration. There are other looks yet to come so stay tuned.
MTV: How did Nicki approach you about working together on this tour?
The Blonds: Nicki and her stylist Rushka Bergman reached out and wanted something very rich and sophisticated looking with a twist.
MTV: What was the process of working with her like?
The Blonds: It is always fun working with Nicki because she has a great sense of personal style and she's fearless!
MTV: How much time did you have to work on these costumes?
The Blonds: This project went very quickly, and we had about three weeks from concept to completion.
MTV: Did Nicki give you any notes or guidelines?
The Blonds: Every time we work with a client, we get to know what they would like to enhance. We have a similar aesthetic in common [with Nicki], and at this point, it's like clockwork.
MTV: You’ve been in the business of creating tour looks for everyone from Beyonce to Miley to Katy for years now. When did you start noticing that artists were changing up their wardrobes mid-tour for different legs? Why do you think this is happening more often?
The Blonds: Once anyone could instantly see what the entertainer wears in pictures and video via the internet on tour, it created a demand for change. So, now instead of creating several of the same garments, looks will change depending on the market. Each artist has their own way of doing things, and the process is as individual as their personalities. We think as fashion gains global interest, the look of an artist is likely to become more important to the fans. People want to see something new and fresh, a show that not everyone has seen. It's actually more fun because the artist can rearrange music and wardrobe and tweak the sets to create a more intimate experience with each audience.
MTV: As with most everything you two create, there are a lot of sequins and rhinestones on Nicki’s new tour look. Is the outfit heavy?
The Blonds: No sequins!! When materials like crystal and chainmaille are involved it is what it is and who doesn't love a fully encrusted couture piece?!!
MTV: Can we expect Nicki in any other Blonds designs on or off tour?
The Blonds: Absolutely! We recently had a great moment with Nicki in the current July issue of Cosmopolitan. Fashion Director Aya Kanai put outfitted her in our blue star print swimsuit with stars and crystals. She looked phenomenal!