Kat Graham’s ‘Put Your Graffiti On Me’ Music Video: Look By Look

A still from Kat Graham’s “Put Your Graffiti On Me” music video.
All Photos: Courtesy of A&M/Octane Records

Not to be alarmist and shrill but: UUUUUM WILL EVERYBODY DROP EVERYTHING AND LOOK AT THIS VIDEO PLEASE BECAUSE I WOULD LIKE TO DISCUSS IT NOOOOOW. It’s the vid for Kat Graham’s “Put Your Graffiti On Me” directed by Benny Boom and obviously I am slightly obsessed with it given that a) the song is a syncopated masterpiece of girl-power anthem-ish goodness and b) Kat’s stylist Brett Alan Nelson is a fuhreaking genius and I can’t even deal with all the streetwear Easter Eggs dotted throughout. AND WELL, HI, I did work at a graffiti magazine for years one million years ago. Anyway, on a scale of one to WILDLY REWARDING, for me it is absolutely the latter.

I grabbed Brett for a chinwag over the phone and we ki-ki’d like banshees and high-fived about the styling at least twelve times because, really, it’s incredibly empowering and SO ’90s in way that is surprisingly fresh and if you’re a huge sportswear and music + fashion dork like I am you’ll just get a such a kick out of it. So from hitting up the 99 cent store for accessories and incorporating sage footwear advice from Jeremy Scott, check out this video look by look and definitely peep the video in a loop as well. Let it get deeeeeeep in your brains.

MTV Style: What do you enjoy about working with Kat Graham?
Brett Alan Nelson: We have a really good, awesome flow. We’re both the same age, we like the same things and we’re both inspired by the ’90s. That sort of world.


A still from Kat Graham’s “Put Your Graffiti On Me” music video.
Fashion Credit: Yellow tiger-print body suit is custom-made by Butch Diva, Booties are Burberry, diamond earrings are vintage

The thing that I love about Kat is that her star is very much on the rise, we’re seeing her in high fashion for various award shows but she still takes a lot of risks.
SO many. That’s the thing about her and I and she’ll tell you herself, you can see a lot of me in her fashion. She gets a lot of inspiration from her friends. You can see a lot of Jeremy Scott in her fashion, too.


A still from Kat Graham’s “Put Your Graffiti On Me” music video.
Fashion Credits: Blue leather bra courtesy of the Jeremy Scott archive, Ruler pants by Jeremy Scott x adidas, Grey braided biker shorts by Gerlan, White sneakers by adidas, Leopard hat is custom

Especially in this video.
Especially in this video! When Kat and I first started working together the style vibe was very GAY and very party boy-inspired… we’d have all these spikes and glitter. What you see of Kat in this video is very different from what you’ve seen of her so far but it’s actually a throwback to where she was originally from stylistically. Before she was famous or anything.

Yeah, I remember she’d wear DimePiece on the red carpet. I like that she does a lot of high and low.
Right. See, I come from a ’90s streetwear background. Even before I was styling I was working for Up Against The Wall [ed note: a sadly defunct national clothing chain]. I loved them. They opened my eyes to a different world of clothes. Honestly I’ve always dressed like that, the same way. I feel like I’m always stuck in this world of plaid shirts around my waist and ripped-up jeans and vintage T-shirts. It’s where I find comfort and this is where Kat and I take her glitz and glam and my ’90s grunge and make a nice mixture. We built this monster that is now this video.


A still from Kat Graham’s “Put Your Graffiti On Me” music video.
Fashion Credit: Leather jacket courtesy of the Jeremy Scott archive, Black bra by marlies dekkers, Black leggings by Angel Johnson

Let’s go! Walk us through how the styling came together.
When this was all coming up, we brought Jeremy Scott into the picture because he’s a really good friend of both of ours and he was like, ‘Let’s pull in a lot of my archive.’ So we have pieces that are from way-back-in-the-day Jeremy Scott and we have brand new pieces like those leather bustier bras. When we first started out I told Kat I only wanted to do three looks because I didn’t want to overpower the aesthetic because there’s a lot to see. All of her dancers are in these sick pinstripe leggings that we hand graffiti’d things on.

The style is such a Girl Power move in a lot of ways.
Exactly. It’s if you took all the Spice Girls. It’s all really sporty and… I mean, Kat’s body is f****** sick.


A still from Kat Graham’s “Put Your Graffiti On Me” music video.
Fashion Credits: Tri Color Bra by L.A. ROXX, Denim shorts by American Apparel (custom chain), Boots by Dr Martens

DUDE. I can’t.
Seriously, it’s like, ’Where did those abs come from?’ Thing is, and a lot of people don’t know this, but she comes from a crazy dance background. She was on tour with will.i.am for a while and, like, she was a Fanta girl.

Kat Graham was a Fantana?
Yeah. She’s a great dancer. Take this video, we are working with same choreographer who did the “Who Run The World (Girls)” video, Sheryl Murakami, and her and Kat have been in the studio busting out ass giving it EVERYTHING ALL DAY. When we first saw the choreography I got really inspired for all of the outfits because it’s very street and it’s very ’90s. It’s this colorful Jeremy-Scott throw-up fest. I love it.


A still from Kat Graham’s “Put Your Graffiti On Me” music video.
Fashion Credits: Vintage Levi’s Jacket customized by Brett Alan Nelson and LA ROXX, Yellow bra by marlies dekkers, “Whitey Tighty” skirt courtesy of the Jeremy Scott archive

That’s interesting. Is that how that works for you, you see the choreography and then design the aesthetic around it?
When it comes to styling in general, I get tons of inspiration from choreography and even more from music. This song is rad and it makes you want to feel hot. The song is sexual. She’s saying, ‘put your graffiti on me’ like as if we’re not all smart enough to figure out what she’s talking about.

HA. Seriously. Let’s talk about that vintage Levi’s jacket with the studs. You know what I love? I love that it’s over-sized. I’m ready to see that kind of silhouette again.

That’s the thing, we didn’t want anything to be uber-fitted. When it comes to jackets we wanted it to feel like she took her boyfriend’s jacket and never gave it back. I love the DIY part of fashion so I took it to LA ROXX and they do really amazing studding and then we had a graf artist write the word “Hunty” on the back because Kat and our tranny friends like to use the word hunty a lot.

I am obviously one hundred years old. Are we talking an expletive/adjective with an “H” instead of a “C”?

You know what, also because I am one hundred years old, you know what the overarching style TOTALLY reminds me of? TLC.
Oh, for sure. It’s so true. I’m always like, I want to put you in white bedazzled jeans and a matching white lace bra and an oversized green army jacket and look like you are in TLC.


A still from Kat Graham’s “Put Your Graffiti On Me” music video.
Photo: Denim Wing shoes are Jeremy Scott x adidas

I die for that. And I love that like TLC, Kat is just dancing her ass off and having an awesome time.
YES! That whole thing, too. You’ll notice we didn’t put her in a pair of heels for the video apart from that one scene with the Burberry booties and the bodysuit because we wanted to pump up the look but this is actually something that Jeremy Scott said and I thought it was so true: Why keep throwing a girl on a pair of heels when she has a body like that and can move like that?. Just put her in a pair of tennis shoes and see the girl rock out.

Thank you! I love that. It’s so early Aaliyah and Left Eye-ish to me.
I feel like all girls see now is sex. They see heels and they see things that are short and skimpy and even skanky. Put on a pair of tennis shoes, put on a pair of sweat pants and a bra and you look hot and you’re right we are giving a lot of throwbacks to Aaliyah and TLC and I will be the first one to claim that but this is our own. It’s very much Kat and it’s very much me. And it’s Jeremy Scott and it’s a huge collaboration on all parts.


A still from Kat Graham’s “Put Your Graffiti On Me” music video.
Fashion Credit: Leopard hat is custom

Talk to me about the leopard print hat with all the braids sprouting out of it. I am INTO THIS.
My thing was that so many people have done pony tails and we had to do something different. I told her that it would be cool if we cut a hole in the top of a baseball cap and we did braids with knockers on the end of it. So she has six braids coming out of the top of her hat. With multicolored hair knockers from the 99 cent store. And then I put the chain around the hat so we custom did a lot of DIY stuff to that as well.

I so anticipate seeing that all over the place. I swear it’s the next chapter after visors for spring and summer.
Haha. I’ll bet!


Kat Graham and Brett Alan Nelson on set.
Photo: Courtesy of Brett Alan Nelson


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