Before there were naked dresses nightly on the red carpet, or Kylie Jenner’s endless array of hair changes, there was Lil’ Kim doing both at the same time, all the time. Her style was (and still is) evocative, entertaining, individual and guaranteed to be different than anything she’s worn before. So naturally, her VH1 Hip Hop Honors tribute included a major nod to her most memorable looks.
The theme of this year’s show was “All Hail the Queens” to pay tribute to “female pioneers, trailblazers and trend-setters” who paved a way through the male-dominated industry. Among the honorees were Queen Latifah, Missy Elliott, Salt-N-Pepa featuring DJ Spinderella and Lil’ Kim, whose specific tribute included a full-blown fashion show.
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After an intro from her good friend Marc Jacobs, four models took the runway in her most iconic looks. There was the bright green wig with floral pasties from the “Crush On You” video, her “notorious” jeans and boots with the fur from her 2000 album cover, the Louis Vuitton monogrammed nude bodysuit and cap and of course, the purple (single) pastie catsuit from the 1999 MTV VMAs modeled by Winnie Harlow.
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Lil’ Kim has been friends with Jacobs for years, and he was one of the rapper’s biggest supporters when she served time in 2005. “He’s one of my best friends and was actually a huge supporter when I was in prison,” Kim said in 2009. “He wrote me every week.”
The duo recently met up during Paris couture week when she made a surprise — and glam — appearance at the Ralph & Russo show.
In addition to the runway show, there was also a singing component to honor the star. Introduced by Sean “Diddy” Combs, Kim go up on stage to sing “Queen B,” “Get Money” and “Lighters Up,” while The Lox, Lil Mama and Teyana Taylor sang a medley of “Crush On You,” “No Time” and “It’s All About The Benjamins.”
Which Lil’ Kim look is your favorite?
— Colleen Kratofil