It has been thirteen years since beloved R&B star Aaliyah and eight others on her team were tragically killed in a plane crash in the Bahamas. The singer, along with hair stylist Eric Forman, Anthony Dodd, security guard Scott Gallin, video producer Douglas Kratz, stylist Christopher Maldonado, and Blackground Records employees Keith Wallace and Gina Smith were traveling to Florida, having completed filming the video for Aaliyah’s next single “Rock The Boat.” The two-engine plane crashed just seconds after takeoff. Aaliyah was twenty-two-years-old.
It’s strange to realize that Aaliyah has been gone for over a decade since her music, her spirit, and her style are still so present. One cannot deny that current chart-toppers like Rihanna and Jhene Aiko, as well as alt-R&B acts like FKA twigs and Banks have taken notes from the musician, finding inspiration in the seductive and sludgey electro-tinged beats of One In A Million and Aaliyah’s own American Horror Story: Hip Hop Coven aesthetic. Would there be a GHE20G0TH1K without Aaliyah? Would good girl RiRi be willing to go bad? In remembrance of Aaliyah and in acknowledgement of her lasting influence on fashion, we rounded up some of her best looks, from her music videos to her live performances to magazine spreads.
No. 1 |
Were we the only ones who immediately thought of Aaliyah's smoking hot Bond villain meets Lil' Kim VMA dress when we saw this?
No. 2 |
There was always something just a touch masculine about Aaliyah's style — but not the tired "I'm a girl wearing a suit" type of masculine. Aaliyah pulled from the rap/streetwear culture surrounding her, a scene that was deeply invested in its own machismo, braggadocio, and posturing. By pairing classic hip hop signifiers — a baggy pant, an exposed boxer, an oversized jacket — with her striking face and undeniably feminine body, Aaliyah was able to warp our preconceptions of gender, power, sexuality, and her own music.
No. 3 |
See previous slide.
No. 4 |
No woman should be able to pull off a bandana this well. It just doesn't make sense and also, more importantly, it's not safe: it just fools other mere mortals into thinking that they too can wrap their head in a printed kerchief and not look like a former motorcycle gang member who now spends all his time sitting outside his Airstream, eating cold hot dogs. But, I assure you, unless you have the angelic face of Aaliyah, you will look like that.
No. 5 |
And while I said that Aaliyah's androgyny defied long-held notions of what kind of menswear a woman could pull off, that doesn't mean she didn't dip her toe into Tilda waters with success and aplomb.
No. 6 |
No. 7 |
Few things are sexier than a woman in a jumpsuit, y/y? Also that silver arm contraption is is Sasha Fierce before Sasha Fierce was Sasha Fierce.
No. 8 |
TELL ME FKA TWIGS' VIDEO FOR "TWO WEEKS" DOESN'T JUST SCREAM "I FOUND A COPY OF QUEEN OF THE DAMNED IN A WAL-MART BARGAIN BIN, RE-WATCHED IT, AND REALIZED THAT AALIYAH AS A VAMPIRE IS EVERY WOMAN'S FINAL EVOLUTIONARY FORM."
No. 9 |
If the future looks anything like this — a pastel exposed-clavicle liquid dream — then find me a time machine, STAT.
No. 10 |
I MEAN, COME ON! SHE LOOKS LIKE SOMEONE I WANT TO PLAY IN STREET FIGHTER COMBINED WITH THE GIRL I WANT TO BE/ASK TO FIX ME IN M.A.C.
No. 11 |
Red eyeshadow and a top from Hot Topic's exclusive Baby Phat collaboration that only existed in our dreams. How didn't we realize that The Supreme was among us?
No. 12 |
WITCHY HIP HOP GLAMOUR. Your fave could never.
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