It's no surprise that the music and fashion industries go hand in hand. We can easily list off the musical names that are considered bona fide style icons, and we always watch closely what musicians and artists wear down the red carpet during award season. When it comes to blending these two worlds, there's no one quite like Janet Jackson. One of the biggest names in music is certainly a fashion icon in her own right.
The singer-songwriter will return to the stage once again for her State of the World Tour, which kicks off September 6 (head over to Live Nation to purchase tickets near you). To better understand what inspires the artist's style both on and off stage, we went straight to the source and tapped Robért Behar, Jackson's costume designer and stylist. Although her voluminous array of curly locks is quite possibly her most standout accessory, Behar piled on stacks of intricate bangles and jeweled rings for Jackson's latest tour. One of the most celebrated celebrities in the world, Jackson remains very much a part of the creative process, attending to even the smallest details pertaining to her tour's overall production, adjusting the sleeve of a backup dancer here, adding an earring there. Behar says, "She knows what she wants."
We spoke with Robért Behar, costume designer and fashion stylist for Jackson's State of the World Tour, which kicks off September 6. Keep reading to see what it's like to dress a musical icon.
WHO WHAT WEAR: Where did your inspiration come from for Janet's tour looks?
ROBÉRT BEHAR: Janet's looks are always inspired by Janet. She's a fashion icon, so she's very specific with her looks. We did get inspired by Haider Ackermann quite a bit. It's always a mutual conversation and mutual ideas that we blend together. She knows what she wants.
WWW: Were you inspired by any of Janet's previous tour looks?
RB: I personally never go back. I can't say that I was inspired by her previous looks besides always maintaining a "Janet" feel. I like to make it modern, new, and fresh.
WWW: How involved was Janet in creating the looks?
RB: Janet is involved in creating the look all around. She does fittings with every single one of the dancers, saying things like It would be great if we do her hair like this, Put this earring here, or Make this jacket sleeve shorter, and so on. She's very involved in the creative process of the tour.
WWW: Is there one item Janet absolutely had to wear for her tour? Perhaps a specific shoe or something from a specific designer?
RB: I don't think there is a specific item that she has to wear all the time, but we like to keep it comfortable. Despite complicated routines, it still has to be comfortable.
WWW: In terms of shoes/heels, what do you look for in a comfortable heel style that she can actually move in?
RB: She's going to be in heels. The shoe is always a delicate moment because she is a true dancer. She doesn't fake it, and she dances all the way. This year, we're going to do heels, but we worked diligently to make them as comfortable as they can be since this is a long show, and she dances constantly.
WWW: How long is the process of putting together and designing looks for a music tour? Is there a specific time frame?
RB: That is the funniest question in the world. The answer is we never have enough time. Janet and I started to talk about the direction and feeling of the tour many months ago, but the creation of the garments came together more concretely recently. And you know, I wouldn't want to do anything else in my life. I'm very fortunate to work with such a creative genius and do what I love the most. Janet's such an incredible person. She's strong, powerful, kind, a humanitarian … You find everything in her, and she is just really wonderful.
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