How Lizzo Found Her ‘No Fucks Given’ Style (And That Tiny Bag)

It ain't her fault...


by grazia |
Updated on

It was the bag that launched a thousand memes. When Lizzo, one of the year’s greatest cultural success stories, stepped onto the red carpet at the American Music Awards, she did so in a divine froth of a Valentino gown, carrying a minuscule handbag, annoucing it was 'big enough for all the fucks I give.' The response was instant, with memes, parodies and tributes going viral. The bag is a contender for the most discussed accessory of the decade, and yet it was just the latest iconic look from a singer whose style is all about attitude.

Lizzo credits an impressive entourage with helping her present her personality and message of self-love to the world. That includes Creative Director Quinn Wilson, hairstylist Shelby Swain and stylist Marko Monroe.

Speaking to Grazia after the AMAs, Marko was still buzzing with the thrill of contributing to a look that took over social media. ‘As soon as we back to the dressing trailer, it was like the internet folded on itself,' he laughs. ‘It was so good!’

Marko has long wanted to style Lizzo with a tiny bag, as a ‘cute inside joke’, but it became reality when he saw the Valentino piece – a toy made in collaboration with Obvious Plant - online. He then called Valentino, working on a dress from the Spring Summer 2020 collection and custom tweaked for her by Creative Director Pierpaolo Piccioli.

‘I saw the bag first,' Marko explains. ‘And we built the look around that.’ Happily, Valentino proved game. ‘We pulled a couple of dresses together, made some sketches, and their team flew out to Copenhagen on our last day of the European leg to do the fitting in our hotel.’ It needed some tweaks, though, to ensure Lizzo’s personality shone through. ‘I made it a little shorter,' he says. ‘And originally the shoulder wasn't exposed: it had a huge bow on it. When I saw it in person I said “it has to go!”’

For Marko, Lizzo and the team, creating an authentic look is a collaborative process. ‘She’s super open to my perspective, so I said “this is what I'm thinking, this is what I'm going for.” We haven’t seen you in this silhouette before, and we wanted to do something fun, more girly.'

He cites the Moschino gown Lizzo wore to the VMAs, and the bridal outfit – veil and all – that she wore to the BET Awards as his other two favourite Lizzo looks of the year.

If you have confidence, you can walk out of the house in a trash bag and a nice pair of shoes and you'll look amazing.

With the red Moschino dress, Marko wanted to nod to classic Hollywood, ‘but then referencing the icons I grew up looking at, like Anna Nicole or even Jessica Rabbit.’

Lizzo - real name Melissa Jefferson - has been making music for longer than you think. Her debut album was released six years ago, but 2019 was the year that the world finally appreciated her brilliance, thanks to power hits like Juice, Truth Hurts and Good As Hell.

At her live shows, such as her Glastonbury set this summer, she commands audience members to love themselves, despite all issues, hang-ups and bad boyfriends. 'My shows are part music, part TED Talk,' she announced at a London show back in May.

She makes people proud of their bodies, and emboldens women to challenge perceptions of beauty. When she performed at the VMAs, flanked by an army of normal-sized black women in leotards, Glee actress Amber Riley summarised what many were feeling: ‘I cried like a baby watching Lizzo and all those beautiful black girls whose bodies look like mine on stage tonight.’

Lizzo may be wearing Valentino and Marc Jacobs, but embracing the Juice vibe is not necessarily expensive. Colour is important, so find your distinctive hue. ‘Orange is her Barbie colour, you know?’ Marko explains. ‘Like, Barbie is the pink, Lizzo is the orange. She looks fabulous in it.’

What is vital, though, is the attitude. ‘At the end of day, I want her to feel good in whatever she's wearing,’ Marko says. ‘It's always kind of organic, and not taking itself too seriously. That's why she can pull up off carrying the little bag. It makes sense for her and her personality.’

So the only rules are, wear what feels good, and have fun with it.

‘It's not about what's trendy,' laughs Marko. 'If you have confidence, you can walk out of the house in a trash bag and a nice pair of shoes and you'll look amazing. That's really what good style is: just not giving a fuck.

READ MORE: Why you shouldn't call Lizzo brave for her body positivity

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