January 09, 2017 12:06 PM
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP; Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty

Actress and singer Janelle Monáe may always rock a black and white “uniform,” but at the 2017 Golden Globe awards, she amped up the classic hues in a custom Armani Privé gown. “We were looking for something that was not typical,” Monáe’s stylist Maeve Reilly tells People Style. “We really wanted specific elements: A high-low hem, volume. We started with the silhouette basically. Our keywords were ‘graphic,’ ‘youthful,’ ‘fun,’ and ‘unique.'”

In order to create Monáe’s whimsical dress, the team at Armani pulled from the archives. “They had a polka dot in a collection from a few years ago, so that netted overlay with the round paillettes existed already,” reveals Reilly. The fabric actually appeared on the runway in Paris during the Armani Privé Fall 2014 Couture show (below).

Victor VIRGILE/Gamma-Rapho/Getty

“We got to work with the elements they already had and tie in what we wanted: The high-low, the volume, and the tight bodice, which was actually a body suit,” says Reilly.

To go along with the standout dress, Reilly piled on several rings. “We’ve never not done that,” says Reilly of Monáe’s stack of Forevermark pieces. “The reason why we originally did the rings was because her looks used to be so monochrome, like a black suit or a white suit. So the rings gave it a little pop and added a girly element to the classic tuxedo.”

Since Monáe is in two critically acclaimed films this awards season — Golden Globe Best Picture winner Moonlight and Hidden Figures we’ll be seeing her on many more red carpets than usual, but that doesn’t mean she’ll stray from her signature black-and-white color palette.

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“It’s definitely not changing,” says Reilly of Monáe’s go-to look. “And I wouldn’t want it to. It’s actually more creatively challenging, and more fulfilling. And I wouldn’t want it any other way. We’ve literally been reinventing the same things over and over again for all these years. I really think it’s so dope and it’s just an honor to be a part of her brand.”

We can’t wait to see what she wears next!

Tell us: Are you a fan of Monáe’s monochrome look? What would you like to see her wear?

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