The One Rule Janelle Monáe Always Follows When Dressing for the Red Carpet


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Janelle Monáe can always be counted on to make a statement any time she steps foot onto the red carpet. Whether she's working mesh with satin-paneled gowns (studded with grommets, no less) or billowing high-low dresses bedecked with tulle and polka dots, Monáe delivers unforgettable looks that never fail to capture our collective attention and keep us talking for days.

When we had the chance to catch up with Monáe at Marie Claire's Fresh Faces event last month, where the actress and singer was honored as a cover star, we asked her the secret to her statement-making red carpet style. Her approach boils down to a simple rule. "I try to just stay artistic whenever I'm making my decision," explains Monáe. "It's exciting to be able to express yourself artistically via fashion, via clothes."

At the event, Monáe wore an eye-catching Off-White by Virgil Abloh minidress. "I've actually had this outfit for a very long time," she admitted. "I love his stuff because it seems like it's something I would design—with the black and white and pops of colors—I love it." The occasion celebrated strong women such as Monáe making a positive impact in the entertainment industry. "It's always great to be a part of something that's empowering women," noted Monáe. "So it makes it all the more fun to dress up and do that because the cause is so much greater than just clothes, honestly, and I don't feel so self-indulgent."

Head below to revisit Janelle Monáe's most eye-catching red carpet looks.