We’re talking head-spinning outfit changes! Theatrical posing performances! Impressively heavy-looking accessories! The rapper is in her finest fashion form yet.
There are a few things we can be absolutely certain of when it comes to Cardi B. She likes to be a little chaotic on Twitter. She knows how to make a going-out anthem. And she will never, under any circumstance, miss an opportunity to serve a look. Currently in Paris for couture week, Cardi B has already emerged as the street style star to rival the runways.
Arguably the most prestigious and exclusive event of the fashion calendar, couture week is brimming with exceptional craftsmanship, intricate details and ultra-VIP guest lists. It’s intense, and yes, a little ridiculous — and Cardi B revels in the silliness of it all. Since the couture Fall 2023 shows kicked off on July 3, Miss Belcalis Marlenis Almánzar (yep, that’s her real name!) has been in on the joke, while sporting extravagant ensembles with the help of her stylist Kollin Carter.
To be fair, in a post-Doja-Cat-covered-in-Swarovski-crystals world, no outfit at couture week is really that surprising. But Cardi B has managed to push the envelope by blending clothing with performance. Favouring body-hugging bodices, feathery mania and blinged-out accessorizing, the star continues to bring her Grammy-winning artistic presence to each new ensemble. Is there anything more couture than that?
To kick off the week, the 30-year-old rapper sat front row at Schiaparelli show in a custom ensemble. She walked up the steps of the venue in a voluminous feathered cape atop a long black dress embellished with the brand’s signature gold detailing. Layered bangles were stacked on her wrists, and dangling gold-plated ears served as avant-garde earrings. Appearing particularly avian-like, she extended out her arms while posing for pictures — like a bird ready to take flight.
A few hours later, Cardi B attended the Thom Browne runway presentation in a new, equally campy look. Wearing a tweed suit dress with decidedly conservative tailoring, she added Cardi-esque embellishments with a gold chain link belt, a clock-shaped handbag and a towering, view-obstructing headpiece. Seated front row between Diane Keaton and Anna Wintour, the “Money” rapper emitted the aesthetic ease of a well-do-to older woman, while bringing her penchant for revealing risk-taking into the mix. And you know what? It works!
Beyond publicized stops at fashion shows, her entire stay in the City of Light has been filled with couture-level fashion. On July 4, she headed out to do some light shopping in a head-to-toe Valentino catsuit and XL cape, as one does. Clearly, this is a woman who doesn’t bother conforming to trends. Minimalism is in, you say? She’ll take all the pattern-mixing, colour-blocking and exaggerated proportions she can get.
Case in point: The following day, Cardi B pulled up to the Balenciaga show in a frothy white feathered overcoat. The billowing garment was a statement in and of itself, but she later took it off to reveal the real star of the outfit: a sequin-covered bodysuit that extended into high-heeled boots (that’s right, they were on and the same). While posing with her partner Offset, her bow-shaped bag — which presumably served no real purpose, storage-wise — trailed down the Parisian sidewalk.
Shortly after this, she emerged in a patterned catsuit for the Jean Paul Gaultier show, complete with tattoo-like prints of suns, hands and chains. To complement the surrealist one-piece, she wore silver bangles, chunky chokers and industrial hoop earrings. As she emerged from her hotel to a crowd of photographers, Cardi B strutted slowly and twirled dramatically. From her blown-out hair to her symmetrically slit eyebrows, the look — and subsequent posing — encapsulated Cardi B’s commitment to crafting a memorable sartorial moment.
At this point, the artist is no stranger to going all out for the sake of fashion. Never forget the time she showed up to the 2021 AMAs in an avant-garde — if not kinda freaky — gold-plated Schiaparelli mask. At the 2023 Grammys, she offered a surrealist take on the hooded dress trend in a sculptural Gaurav Gupta Couture gown. Most recently, at this year’s star-studded Met Gala, she was arguably the best dressed after stepping out in not one or two, but four completely different outfits that all met the Karl Lagerfeld-themed dress code. Cardi B will go to great lengths for a style moment. And the Paris couture Fall 2023 shows are the greatest indication yet.
The best part? She dresses like nobody’s watching. She’s not trying to hit the most serious pose for every angle. She’s relishing in the fun of fashion while taking risks that feel true to her personality. To borrow her wording, she’s never regular, degular or schmegular. Cardi B is a fashion girl through and through.