Celebrity Style

Lizzo's Stylist Reveals The Inspiring Meaning Behind Her Grammys Dress

“I wanted to play up iconic legends but make it our own.”

Originally Published: 
Lizzo's Grammys 2021 Dress Explained By Stylist Brett Nelson
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Lizzo’s Grammys outfits are like a study in fashion history. In 2020, the “Good As Hell” singer went for Old Hollywood glam in a Versace strapless gown and textured stole. Lizzo’s Grammys 2021 dress pulled from another decade with a ’70s disco theme (alongside 2000s-inspired ruching and hair clips). By wearing timeless fashion to the Grammys — borrowing from the past while looking toward the future — the pop star is sending a clear message: She’s going for icon status.

Lizzo’s stylist Brett Nelson says that’s exactly what he hoped to communicate through her mint green Balmain dress. I always want to take to mind disco with Lizzo,” Nelson tells Bustle. “She’s such an icon, so I want to play up the iconic legends but make it our own.”

The inspiration behind her outfit was a feeling rather than a particular muse, though Diana Ross did come to mind. “[We were thinking] legendary, iconic, sexy,” says Nelson.

Lizzo wore Bulgari’s iconic Serpenti necklace, earrings, and rings — more than 157 carats in total — which only added to the glamour and allure. “The Bulgari diamonds helped pull the disco glam vibe together.”

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The singer is known for symbolic fashion statements, like her Christian Siriano ‘Vote’ dress and ‘Auntie Sam’ flag corset. But her mere presence on the red carpet is a statement in and of itself. At a time when plus-size celebrities are still being rejected by fashion houses, each Lizzo look is carving a path toward better representation for an underserved market.

Nelson says quarantine has only deepened her desire to have fun with fashion. For Lizzo, “2020 was a reminder to take advantage of the moment and be yourself,” he says.

It also brought its share of challenges for the business of red carpet fashion. “Fittings are all virtual now. They consist of a lot of shipping boxes and technical difficulties,” says Nelson, adding: “FedEx employees definitely hate to see the name Brett Nelson on their caller ID.”

But it hasn’t stopped him from creating memorable moments. “It took a while to adapt to, but we've all caught up and gotten creative.”

If any business can pivot during a period of uncertainty, it’s the fashion industry — and the ingenuity of Lizzo’s Grammys red carpet look is proof.

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