If you’re familiar with Janelle Monáe’s style, then you probably know she tends to keep to a wardrobe of black and white on the red carpet. Monáe told HuffPost the color palette speaks to her background and history: “It’s a dedication to uniformity and I’m a minimalist by heart, but a lot of it had to do with me wanting to have a uniform like the working class, like my mom and my grandmother,” she explained. While we have seen the singer, songwriter, producer, and actress in color before, she mostly stays firmly dedicated to this look.
Her stylist Alexandra Mandelkorn, whom she’s worked with for over four years, told POPSUGAR that this fashion choice extends beyond events – like for her recent trip to Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, where Janelle wore black-and-white outfits with a vacation vibe. “Fun prints, embroidery, and sheer fabrics are all fab in black and white!” Mandelkorn said. “I know exactly what kind of silhouettes and color palettes Janelle is drawn to. I go out and search for new, fun ideas for her to try and present them to her prior to her departure. I’ll make initial selects, and from there, Janelle picks out her favorites. Vacation is always lighthearted and playful, so I try to find clothes that reflect that mood.”
The clear winning item in Janelle’s Mexico suitcase was this PatBO Seashell Beaded Beach Dress, which features over 1,000 imitation-pearl beads and conch-shell charms stitched onto the bustier of the bodysuit. Janelle wore it poolside with chunky chain-link necklaces and a black hat. “I was familiar with [PatBO] but had never had the right opportunity to collaborate. When this vacation popped up, I thought this would be the perfect moment!” Mandelkorn said, confirming that this was Janelle’s first time in the Brazilian brand. With how well she pulled off this design – which I’m sure we’d all choose over any existing swimsuit in our swim drawer – we’re sure it won’t be her last.
Scroll to see how the beach cover-up looked on Janelle with slightly different underwater lighting, then splurge on her exact outfit if you have something special coming up, or shop for an inspired version at a more affordable price point for future getaways.