BILLIE EILISH: A FASHION REVOLUTION

As we await her ‘Happier than Ever’ world tour show in the UK, Billie brings to us something more than music.

If you have put on the radio in your car lately or asked Alexa to play the top 50 international playlist, there is no chance you haven’t heard the tunes of Billie Eilish’s new album ‘Happier than Ever’. And for those of you who live under a rock, Billie Eilish is a nineteen-year-old American songwriter and singer who has won multiple Grammy awards for her singles. Inspired by The Beatles and Justin Bieber, Billie’s music is experimental and unique.

The pop music artist is also known for her distinct fashion statements. Her first walk-of-fame came along with her music video ‘Ocean Eyes’ where her eloquent lyrics and platinum hair gained a lot of fans from across the world. As her music began to rise up on the charts, Billie’s personal style of dressing in oversized and comfortable clothing acquired a ton of spectators too. The then-trending style of athleisure wear was wildly elevated with her large t-shirts and coordinated sets.

When she started in the music business, Billie also wanted to direct her own videos but was denied the opportunity due to her lack of experience. But with videos such as ‘Bad Guy’ that showcased her personal style, quirky colour palette and mind-blowing music, she has taken over the direction of a few of her videos now. The clean storyboarding of the frames in all the music videos of this album splashed with blood, ink, and all the unexpected things created a wave of strapped cargos, chunky sneakers and playsuits.

In her early days, Billie stated that she did not want anyone to judge her or sexualize her. She justified that people cannot have an opinion about it as they don’t know what’s underneath. She was initially put into a box of being a scary, weird girl with mind-blowing vocals. With the release of her second album ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?” Billie took onto a more dark academia-like colour palette. Neon green roots and dark dyed hair became a trademark look for her quirky style. This look was also illustrated by Andrew Onorato, an Australian animator for her comeback single ‘My Future’ which is part of her latest album’s line up.

There were a chain of promotional interviews and features in-between the release of this song and the entire album. Eilish made an appearance in a Calvin Klein advertisement where she voiced her opinions about her style. Her monologue stated that no one should judge others based on what they wear. People should dress for comfort and not for the opinions of others. During one of her shows in Miami, she also released a short film titled ‘Not my Responsibility’ discussing the mentality of judgemental people around her clothes and body. This was later released on her YouTube channel for all her fans in May 2020.

Billie was featured on the cover of British Vogue for the June 2021 issue. Shot by the famous photographer Craig  McDean and styled by Edward Enninful, the editor-in-chief himself, Eilish was featured in lingerie from Gucci, Burberry, and a few other luxury brands. This was a unique and exclusive take on exploring a distinct style for the artist. The boundaries that she had created since the beginning between her critics and her fashion statements came into play as the shoot was released. Her advocacy against body shaming and sexualizing women’s bodies worked in her favour as fans and co-stars applauded this experimental cover feature.

This colour palette continued onto her Amazon Prime day exclusive where she performed a couple songs from the album.

Eilish’s interlude ‘Not My Responsibility’ from her latest album speaks directly to the people who body shame her. It straight-forwardly states that she is not accountable for their perspective towards the way she dresses.

“We make assumptions about people

Based on their size

We decide who they are

We decide what they’re worth

If I wear more

If I wear less

Who decides what that makes me?

What that means?

Is my value based only on your opinion?

Or is your opinion of me

Not My Responsibility?”

Billie made an astonishing appearance at the Met Gala this year which was themed ‘In America: A Lexicon of Fashion”. She wore a custom-made Oscar de la Renta gown inspired by the iconic Golden Age star Marilyn Monroe’s tulle gown from the 1950s. The singer promised the brand that she would walk the stairs of the Metropolitan Museum of Arts wearing the gown only if they promise to permanently end their use of real fur.

A long list of luxury brands such as Chanel, Gucci, and Burberry have gone off track to match Billie’s silhouette incorporating their monograms for various award functions attended by her. The details of these monogrammed looks have drizzled down to her memorable long nails. During the tour of her second album, she was found wearing chunky and trendy sneakers. She even sported casts given to her for her performance injuries during the many concerts.

We can also never get enough of the custom shoes worn by the artist during stage performances and exclusive shows. Recently, she released two pairs of sneakers in her own collaboration – Billie Eilish X Air Jordans. The bright green colour of one of the pairs takes us back to the days of ‘When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?’. The artist also released her own fragrance this month called ‘Eilish’. Housed in a bottle designed to replicate a body cast, she expressed how many of her own memories are connected with various scents. She has truly broken the barriers of fashion and bent the rules to construct a style that is best for her.

You can read more of Suhani’s work on suhani17.wordpress.com and on Instagram by following @suhani_lotlikar

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