Solange Knowles, mononymously known as Solange, is one of the most creative minds of our time.
Hailed as the aesthetic queen, her creative expression and relevance spans from music to fashion, and now with her recent collaboration with IKEA, to home-wares and decor. This collab sees Knowles’ art-collective and multidisciplinary creative agency Saint Heron join forces with IKEA to explore the creative space that exists amid music, design, art and architecture.
Her latest album and accompanied film ‘When I Get Home’ is a cultural artefact that pays homage to her hometown of Houston, Texas. Throughout the music film, Solange upholds her minimalist style, but for her long-time fans, the evolution of her style is clear. While she continues to experiment with different materials and shapes, her source of inspiration appears closer to home. Knowles draws inspiration from the iconic black cowboys of Houston and pays tribute to them through more than just representation in her film.
At various points in the film, she dons, with unapologetic pride and effortless coolness, snakeskin cowboy boots and a black cowboy hat, which have both been massive trends thus far in 2019. By revisiting her latest album almost four months after its initial release, we can see that Knowles is a trendsetter. She has created an album and music film that not only gets better with every listen and viewing, but dictates what is in style. ‘When I Get Home’ came out in March this year, and since then we have seen the resurgence of the cowboy aesthetic and animal prints.
This album is a body of work that is timeless both sonically and aesthetically, due to the way in which Knowles experiments with and allows for minimalism and futurism to intersect. Through her work, Knowles challenges the conventional ideas of what an iconic American figure looks like, and pulls black cowboys out from the peripheries to the forefront of the American cultural narrative.
For her original sense of style and constant rejection of boundaries, Knowles has become a pioneer in the realms of music, design and style. Knowles’ experimentation with different prints, materials and forms cements her place as an innovative figure in fashion and a conceptual style icon. Although in ‘When I Get Home’ the artist can be seen in Telfar, vintage Mugler and Gucci, some of her most notable looks from this new era come from upcoming designers.
The album’s cover exemplifies Knowles’ minimalist, futurist style as she is stripped back with nothing but a Keren Wolf metallic piece which lines her eyes and crosses her face. Knowles defies conventions with her glass-like skin piece created from glass and latex body molds by self-proclaimed science-fiction artist Esmay Wagemans. Knowles’ relentless drive to create bodies of work that celebrate black women continues to break boundaries and challenge the norms of music, fashion and culture.
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