Janelle Monáe at the Chanel Cruise Spring 2015 Photo Call

Posted on May 14, 2014


Janelle-Monae-Chanel-Cruise-2015-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (1)Janelle Monáe attends the Chanel Cruise Collection 2014/2015 photo call at The Island in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Janelle-Monae-Chanel-Cruise-2015-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (2)Chanel Resort 2014 Collection

Janelle-Monae-Chanel-Cruise-2015-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (3)

Janelle-Monae-Chanel-Cruise-2015-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (4)

Janelle-Monae-Chanel-Cruise-2015-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (5)

It’s very firmly within a rather tight wheelhouse that we sometimes wish she’d open up a little more, but it’s a lovely and chic interpretation of her signature look. Love the jewelry. We think a tightly fitted pair of pants would have been a bit more elegant, though.




[Photo Credit: Francois Nel/Getty Images, style.com]

    • Janet B

      First thought: Of course.

      • VioletFem

        I think it is a little bit different with Janelle Monae. She cultivates a very specific image through her clothing. Saying “of course” with her is kind of a moot point.

        • StarburstLady

          Agreed. She has a unique style that’s sending ripples through fashion, whereas Lea Michele looks like a girl from Long Island at a club in Manhattan.

          On top of that, I think Janelle Monae’s uniform is partly about avoiding appearing oversexed, but she doesn’t lapse into cliches there, either, like dressing primly, or hiding in swaths of fabric.

          • Brookwater

            She has also talked very openly about her mother and grandmother being maids and her previous work as a maid and the “uniform” they all had to wear. She now wears a uniform as a kind of homage to them.

          • Nicole

            I love this quote from her – I want to be clear young girls, I didn’t have to change who I was to become a Covergirl, I didn’t have to become perfect because I’ve learned through my journey that perfection is the often the enemy of greatness. Embrace what makes you unique, even if it makes other uncomfortable.

        • Janet B

          Agreed, she has a very specific image from which she rarely deviates.

    • Jacqueline Wessel

      Take that, Evan Rachel Wood!

      • StarburstLady

        Why not both?

        • J. Preposterice

          I ship it.

          • StarburstLady


    • Carly Clement

      those shoes alone make the outfit…. Absolutely amazing!!!! FLAWLESS

      • Denise Alden

        I was just going to say that this woman OWNS flawless, doesn’t she?

        • Carly Clement

          she really is… i mean look at that necklace! amazing and her make up is perfect!!

    • lundibleu

      I’d love to see her try something completely different once or twice, just to see it, but she looks brilliant here.

    • Annistella

      Yes, happily scrolling until I hit the pants and then I had to scratch the deck to understand what happened. A little too much s-t-r-e-t-c-h for Chanel darling.

      • FridaStaire

        Yes, I think there’s a rule for leggings-as-pants – the jacket must cover the bum, even if it’s a very nice bum.

        • tereliz

          I’ll give her a pass since they look like a ponte knit pant, not a true legging.

    • Yoshio

      That’s a butt ugly necklace – looks like futuristic head phones at best

      • demidaemon

        I kind of love it, actually.

        • Kent Roby

          I agree with both of you; I love it because it’s kind of ridiculously butt ugly!

      • Sarah

        Two round balls do not make me think of headphones. I must be of a raunchier mind.

        • Angela

          My mind is at your level apparently because my first thought was that she is wearing a pair of balls around her neck.

          • Patricia Groves Dobrowski

            The fact that it’s a pearl necklace besides does nothing to wipe that image from my mind.

            • Kent Roby

              When a person has two balls on their chest, they are likely to end up with a “pearl necklace”, so this is sort of a two-for-one!

            • Alloy Jane

              Naughty naughty! I thought of them as pearls but my brain didn’t go to “those kind” of pearls.

        • Yoshio

          Well, I did say “at best” – your thought would be “at worst” I suspect. lol!

        • SugarSnap108

          My first thought was, she’s wearing a testiclace.

        • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_QFW22QV426LUOEPGASPZJWJMDE MishaFoomin

          A certain South Park episode comes to mind, regarding the necklace here.

        • Wendi126

          My immediate thought what a lovely unicorn testicle necklace

          • Alloy Jane

            Magical unicorn mayonnaise!

      • MartyBellerMask

        I thought headphones too, and I kind of think that is the point? It’s pretty cool, and she can get away with it. :)

      • Boulderista

        I thought it was a pair of goggles at first glance … fugly goggles

    • demidaemon


    • Sly

      Isn’t she wearing a tightly fitted pair of pants, or am I reading that sentence wrong?

      • Sarah


        • Sly

          Ahhh. Thank you!

    • ampg

      As I was scrolling through the pics I was wondering if you guys were going to take her to task for always doing minor variations on the same look. :) I agree that she looks great, regardless.

    • Danielle

      I even love the giant pearl chesticles.

      • Sarah

        I don’t like those very much, as an item, although I don’t really mind them here. I DO think that cube/pearl ring is killer, tho.

        • Kitten Mittons

          That RING!

        • ankali

          I need that ring in my life.

      • BLauD

        chesticles! Thank you! That is just the word that I could not bring to mind upon seeing those.

      • leneamo

        With any other outfit on any other person, I’d be against the necklace. But here it’s so beyond perfect because the pearls seem to evoke a bowtie- completing the tux look.

    • Truthiness2U

      She wear what makes her feel beautiful, and comfortable. If it’s a narrow realm for her? It’s a narrow realm for her. I personally think it works, and part of that is her working it, because she feels comfortable. Plus, as someone who isn’t too thrilled with dresses/skirts anymore, I feel her.

      • melisaurus

        She always looks great because she is comfortable, sleek, and fitted – not every woman can pull that off. They make her instantly recognizable and a little quirky, which is important to her image.

    • teensmom99

      Yay. The woman who won the Met Ball.

      • http://vhanna26.typepad.com Vera

        That cape was fabulous!

        • Kent Roby

          It was one of my fave looks, too, though I give the “win” to Karolina Kordova (who also won a couple of years ago with that bronze sequined dress and turbin).

    • smayer

      Leggings are not pants, Janelle. Go put some britches on.

      • ellisd123


    • Pterodactyl111

      Shit, I take back every bad thing I ever said about turtlenecks.

    • alyce1213

      Great look overall, but I wish the leggings were very slim, straight trousers. I’m just not a big fan of skintight pants.
      I love the blouse. Love.

    • jw_ny

      pearl necklace, pearl earrings, pearl broach, pearl ring…overload! ZZ Top would be in their glory…

      her face is just stunning…not particularly crazy about the outfit though…kinda getting a ’90s vibe from it, and the leggings are kinda hoochie.

      • Sarah

        Oof. You do realize what kind of pearl necklace ZZ Top is referring to, yes? Pearl overload is unpleasant imagery in that context.

        • jw_ny

          yes. 😉

          • Sarah

            Phew. Didn’t want to have to figure out a way to explain THAT in a G-rated manner.

            • formerlyAnon

              Some things we do not explain. We check i.d. for legal age, then we intone: google.

            • Sarah

              Heh. I just feel for people of age who are in the dark about stuff. I didn’t know what Steely Dan meant until I was 32, so I sympathize.

            • formerlyAnon

              I STILL don’t know what many double entendres and much naughty slang means. I had a sheltered childhood, and carried a strangely impenetrable shell of cheerful, idiotic, innocence about me through my youthful adventures, apparently. I mean, I went places and did stuff and knew people that would give any mother a heart attack, but, i dunno. Fortunately, I read *a lot,* and *everything* so I think I managed to only seem naive, not stupid, until finally the Internet arrived so I could interpret my kids’ world.

            • Sarah

              I also had this sheltered childhood, in which I was fairly oblivious to everything, “dirty” or not, and also the youngest of a family significantly older than me that I’m sure tried their damndest to keep any and all unpleasantness from my experience. I did, however, make a valiant effort to overturn that sheltering upon my majority. There’s not too much I don’t know at this point. And a lot of stuff I wish I could forget. But, them’s the breaks of adulthood. I also wish I could forget things like ALL THE LYRICS to every song I’ve ever heard, and the plot to every episode of Brady Bunch but that stuff’s in my head, now, so nothin’ I can do about it.

            • zenobar

              Hello, fellow song lyric/useless ephemera memorization savant here. I also specialize in random, back-of-the-library shelves childrens’ books, and pretty much all of the 1937 edition of Emily Post’s “Etiquette”, which I voraciously read from cover to cover at age 10. My family had no idea how I’d picked up so much knowledge on how to serve tomato aspic at a formal dinner party.

              And yet, I can’t retain anything involving math.

            • Sarah

              Math? What’s that? Numbers and stuff? I can’t even remember the four digit security code to turn off the alarm at my work, where I go EVERY DAY.

            • formerlyAnon

              That kind of memory is such a weird concept for me. My memory is like a series of very clear, detailed, but isolated vignettes. There is far, far, more I don’t recall than I do. Things like quotations, lyrics, & facts may or may not float to the surface if it’s not something I use regularly. Since it’s always been like this, I can’t even blame drugs. (And for various reasons, my history there is far too mild and intermittent to blame for anything.)

            • Sarah

              Maybe that’s why I spent so much time imbibing and smoking and dropping things. Misguided ephemera control efforts.

            • zenobar

              I’m trying to control the ephemera as we speak. Cheers!

            • Kent Roby

              I didn’t really get that double entendre until Samatha spoke of it on Sex and The City.

            • AnaRoW

              You mean they’re not just some words pulled from a dictionary and thrown together?

              I didn’t know what Pearl Jam meant until I heard Andy Botwin use it in explaining masturbation to Shane. And I’m probably the only person who’s never learned the English translation of the words from “Lady Marmalade”.

            • kimmeister

              Oh crap, I’m 34 and only just now did I even find out it’s a double entendre.

            • Sarah

              I was okay about not knowing. I really, really dig Steely Dan, and did since I was a kid. I used to have to defend my Aja album to kids who were all about Whitney Houston and NKOTB and if I had known their name meant something I would have considered scandalous, I may not have bothered.

    • Griffinqueen

      Tremendous throat balls you got there, Janelle.

    • bitchybitchybitchy

      Okay, Ms. Pinto, this is how you do it. Love the jacket.

    • e jerry powell

      I ain’t mad. I might have picked a not-so-high collar, but the jewelry makes me not want to complain.

    • BLauD

      Maybe she thought if she could get away with leggings at the Met Gala, she can surely do it for Chanel.

    • Alfred Cox

      Flawless. This is one of my favorites look of this year, by far. Janelle is truly in a class of her own with her personal style and music. Nobody does it better.

      BUT. She desperately needs to stop this tuxedo and black and white motif she returns to again and again and switch it up.

      For those who don’t watch BET, on last years edition of “Black Girls Rock”, Janelle mentioned in her acceptance speech that she wears black and white and usually a tuxedo because of her parents, who were a janitor and teacher when she was growing up. Its to remind her of where she came from and what her parents did for her to succeed.

      I have nothing but love for that. BUT, when the looks become just BLACK and WHITE over and over again, somethings gotta give.

      Again: Gorgeous. But she needs to switch it up.

      • Susan Velazquez

        She wears gowns once in awhile but yeah, she needs to switch it up. I’d love if she ever showed up in Cindi Mayweather drag. Afrofuturistic electric lady, please!

        • Alfred Cox


          • Susan Velazquez

            She switches it up in her music vids, I don’t know why she doesn’t in her public appearances.

    • decormaven

      Kicking it! She looks great.

    • eight_of_nine

      For those who say she should switch things up, here’s a quote from Janelle on the matter: “My mom and dad wore uniforms, whether they were janitors or post-office employees. They worked hard to make sure we had clothes on our backs and food in our mouths. I never, ever want to forget them, so I always wear my uniform—a jacket and pants in black-and-white—to pay homage to them and to remind myself I have work to do.”

      • Mismarker

        I was going to post this quote, too. Glad I scrolled to see if someone beat me to it! Love her.

      • RectPropagation

        I don’t understand people insisting that she has to break from what she wears when we all know why she wears it. If she wants to honor her parents then good for her.

    • beebee10

      Gorgeous and super-star! I agree she’s coloring inside her self-imposed style lines and this works.

    • formerlyAnon

      Love her style. Agree on trousers being better.

    • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

      Her smile is the cutest stinkin’ thing. I love her look, and for now it works with her android artistic motif.

      • EveEve

        I want to know how to get my teeth that dazzling white.

    • MilaXX

      On anyone else I would hate that she rarely varies from black and white, but she does it so well I can’t complain. Love huh!

    • Bernadette

      I am dying over that choker/necklace!

    • Hetha Innis

      Leggings? NO. Make it stop.

    • JP

      I lust for that jacket. And those shoes.

    • WaterGhost

      She looks silly. Far too silly. Silly riding instructor, or silly dominatrix, or silly dominatrix dressed as a riding instructor. Maybe even vice versa.
      On the other hand, although she seems to be wearing a lot of foundation, her skin looks great.

    • ktr33

      This just looks like 80s Janet Jackson (no disrespect to Miss Jackson, btw!), very dated. her face is stunning in the last pic, and I do like the shoes.

    • KendraMR

      Absolutely stunning. I just adore her.

    • Chartreusite

      She is so fabulous it hurts.

    • SewingSiren

      Styled it better than Karl.

    • Haley Buchanan

      I am digging the choker. I’m not sure anyone else could even pull it off, let alone rock it the way Janelle does!

    • gitchygitchymama

      pearl testiculace!

      • Pennymac

        So glad I’m not the only BK that thought this. Although I was going to use a somewhat cruder euphemism.

    • littlevase

      She is wearing a brooch! I LOVE brooches. I hope they make a comeback.

      • Constant Reader

        I was thinking the same thing! And I have a nice selection of vintage costume brooches (they were my grandma’s) that I’m ready to deploy.

        • Gatto Nero

          Don’t wait for the comeback. Just wear them!

          • Kitten Mittons

            Yes, I wear brooches all the time! Some were my grandmothers’, and I love to show them off.

          • Constant Reader

            You make an excellent point!

    • http://vhanna26.typepad.com Vera

      Fabulous. While she’s always been stylish, she’s been stepping up her game as of late.

    • E.Nelson

      Haters to the left. She is shutting it down.

    • Mothra

      I think she looks absolutely fabulous. Are the criticisms about the yoga like pants?

    • gefeylich

      Yeah, enough with the leggings. You’re right – she should have worn well-tailored trousers.

    • Gatto Nero

      She is gorgeous (love the styling), but I so wish she had worn pants instead of those legging-like things.

    • Miss wks

      Everybody wants to be her and do her….

    • Milos Mom

      I really do believe in the idea of a fashion icon having a “uniform”. And her uniform is one of my top 3. I sig all the details of this except the leggings which cheapen the look and the black clashes with the black of the velvet shoe. Yes… that small detail is a big deal to the eye. Did she spill wine on the white pants? Did she feel like showing off her curves after what must have been a heavy cape at the Met Gala? You are fierce and usually work it Janelle, so I will forgive you this time.

    • Judih1

      I like her signature style, just wished she would change up her hairstyle sometime

    • Noah

      I’m totally okay with the leggings/pants on her because she has the legs to pull them off. Hot damn.

    • quiltrx

      I absolutely love the jacket. I do wish she would branch out from her ‘standard’ outfit, though. I bet jaws would drop if she showed up in a different hairstyle and a sexy gown.

    • http://gabyrippling.tumblr.com/ Gaby

      Her Dance Apocalyptic video had her in a more rocker chic vibe I wish she’d explore more. Also, she should rock the James Brown cape more because she deserves it.

    • Mary Elizabeth Poytinger Baume

      God shes lovely

    • P M

      I do agree on the pants. This ventures into chorus line territory. But that jacket and the rest of the look just *sing*.

    • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ Alicia

      I love her look, but I’d really prefer it if she wasn’t wearing leggings.

    • http://www.chifleschips.com Stefanie Argudo Mackenzie

      Shoes…I want to know about the shoes!

    • CMSmith1848

      I thought this was Janet. Ms. Jackson if you’re nasty.

      • ktr33

        I said likewise earlier in the thread. Very 80s Janet.

    • Tee

      The necklace is a bit ben wa-ish. A good look overall and the shoes are fab.

    • MoHub

      Janelle Monae is becoming someone to be reckoned with. Love the jacket in particular.

    • PeggyOC

      This woman is the very definition of style. She knows what she likes, and wears what she chooses. She wears designers, but she wears them her own way.

    • ojosazules

      I’d prefer real pants, and the ball gag necklace is a bit much for me, but she looks amazing.

    • Alyssa

      I love her, but leggings are not pants. That jacket is amazing.

      • wisdomy

        Yep. With all the love in the world, not even for Janelle are leggings acceptable as pants.

    • YoungSally

      I’m wondering if these leggings are okay in the local culture. I realize Dubai is pretty liberal vis a vis SA, but I was under the impression that it is best to err on the side of conservatism

    • James

      What are those leggings? Is she going riding? I’m not digging this one, apart from the jacket alone.

    • Michelle Amanda Cantave

      Is it bad that one of my first thoughts was “is that the ring from Clash of the Titans?”

    • cocohall

      Is she wearing tanning bed goggles around her neck as a piece of jewelry? I’m so confused by whatever that thing is at her throat. Otherwise, very signature JM, and hey if Dolly Parton can have a signature look for 40+ years, why not other talented lady singers?

    • Melanie

      Does she ever wear any other style though? Maybe she should call Lupita.

    • Jecca2244

      is she wearing leggings to a Chanel show??

    • KinoEye

      LIFE given, and LIFE received. Thank you, Janelle, for that much-needed shot of fierceness.

    • elemspbee

      vs. leggings? agreed.
      barely scrolled down because her face!!! stunning.

    • kimmeister

      Overall, kudos, but lots of quibbles:
      1) Too many pearls. I dislike the necklace and the brooch is almost lost against the busy backdrop of lace, so I’d have just kept the awesome ring. The demure earrings are acceptable.
      2) As amazing as her legs are, those aren’t the right pants for the look.
      3) The shoes are cool too, but I don’t think they go with this look.

    • Imasewsure

      Agreed on the pants but she is fierce. I don’t mind a signature look as long as it is consistently awesome

    • jwrdwr

      She looks like a backup singer for Prince, circa Purple Rain.

    • anonylind

      Leggings are not pants, regardless of how fashionable the wearer.

    • http://thishotoldbroad.blogspot.com/ Sara Leigh Merrey

      I don’t like the leggings either; tight pants better. Otherwise, I like this. On the other hand, I can’t help it, but every time I see a ladystar in hair like that, Chris Tucker in The Fifth Element pops into my head.

    • Renaissance_Man_ATL


    • http://cheekypinky.wordpress.com cheekypinky

      This is the only time I’ve seen that Chanel necklace worn well.

    • JynxTheCat

      pearls as bow tie kinda brilliant – but this is now a uniform.