Rita Ora in London on March 6, at the NME Awards in London on Feb. 29, and at London Fashion Week on Feb. 19.
Photo: Getty Images
You guys have heard of Rita Ora, right? The lovely, talented lady from Kosovo signed to Jay-Z's Roc Nation? She's that platinum-tressed lissome songstress behind such chunz (yes, that's supposed to sound like an English accent) as "Hot Right Now" with DJ Fresh and the more recent summertime banger "How We Do (Party)" which was formerly known as "Party And Bulls***"? Anyways, her album is going to be bats-in-the-belfry bonkers because it is rumored to feature production from Drizzy, The-Dream, and superproducers Stargate (!!!!!!!!).
Total nerdly sidebar that is for like 4% of you BUT did you guys read 'The New Yorker' article about Stargate and Ester Dean (she's considered a 'Top Liner' which basically means she barfs pure hook diamonds from her brain)? If not, you totally should because it is a fascinating behind-the-scenes peek into the ingredients of all your favorite songs, like basically every super-sticky, ear-wormy Rihanna song in the last couple years.)
**Back from the sidebar. So, I first heard of Rita in the late summer of 2009 because FULL DISCLOSURE I interviewed her for her bio and learned a ton about how much pride she had in being recognized for her cultural heritage (little known fact, she was [at the time] the first Kosovan to be on MTV) and the fact that prior to being discovered by A&R impresario Jay Brown from Roc Nation and you know, MEETING JAY-Z, she was working at a sneaker store on Portobello Road and recording songs on a spectacularly beat up laptop.
When I met her, Rita was wearing jean shorts (#teamjorts) and a TopShop sweater and we talked about all of her major fashion influences (Amy Winehouse was a big one since they'd gone to the same performing arts academy... and she was BIG on Balmain because this was the year EVERYONE wore those band jackets) and then she introduced me to a really interesting notion about how she was really "over" the statement handbag and how it didn't resonate with her age group (she was 19). What I recall from our several hours chinwag was that she was incredibly well adjusted and loved cracking herself up. She had a good laugh--sorta husky but sparkly.
Now that it's a few years later and she's undeniably doing her, I'm really stoked for her especially since it's been rewarding to watch her fashion sense evolve. I love when she does her Gwen Stefani thing with the crop tops and the bright red lipstick and as much as I adore her in retro, itty-bitty shorts I am HEAVY into this monochromatic pantsuit situation she's been stunting in. The tailored menswear cues are refreshing and fully grown.
While the pinstriped shirt, cropped-and-cuffed, tie-front trousers do need SOMETHING in the fit department (and I would've ditched the sweater and opted for a different shoe), I do appreciate the gumption and it's at the NME awards earlier this year in all white that the pantsuit is perfected. The fit and accessories are sublime and her strong brows and slight roots anchor the look beautifully. At London fashion week, Rita's sateen pegleg pant, tie (plus tie bar) and contrast buttons nailed it again and this time a hint of scarlet at the lip and dark, black specs make for suitable (ha!) accents. Definitely feeling the gangster moll steez aaaaand I can't WAIT for the album!