BY MONIQUE QUINTANA
Here's what happens when popular music gets darkly glamorous...
Beyoncé, Haunted Love, 2014
Although the first Fifty Shades of Grey film was lackluster to say the least, it boasted a solid soundtrack. This video for “Haunted Love” was imprinted with a black –laced, masked Beyoncé, who is definitely in control of a house filled with ghost-like longing. Red-Lipsticked with 20s style finger waves in her hair, she is Old Hollywood with a hint of vampire.
Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya, Pink, Lady Marmalade, 2001
It’s hard to take your eyes of this video for the Moulin Rouge soundtrack, which was a monster hit when it came out at the turn of the century. While all these ladies had experienced success in R&B and Hip-Hop, this song and dance shot them to the pop-status stratosphere. With a delightfully garish gold, red and black color scheme and make-up you could see even in the blackest of nights, these ladies are the epitome of sexual power and glamour.
Missy Elliot featuring 702 and Magoo, Beep Me 911, 1998
This video is an amazing counter-narrative to Aqua’s “Barbie Girl” video. Everyone’s made up as plastic jointed dolls, and the set and costume are a pastel nightmare. It’s a sexy, moody, dark precursor to the later innovations Elliot would do again and again with music videos.
Aaliyah, Four-Page Letter, 1997
Aaliyah's costuming in this video encapsulates what late 90’s fashion was about, the juxtaposition of the masculine and the feminine, an opulence of textiles, a nod to the latter part of the 60s, and the brilliance of an impending 21st century. The opening look is grounded in her signature black trench coat, oversized pants and shades, but she does something new when does her finale dance is a metallic pantsuit that alludes to interstellar things.
No More I Love Yous, Annie Lennox, 1996
Amidst gender bending ballerinas, decadent foppes and properly clad gentleman, Lennox is the grand dame of grotesque and theatrics. Her muted make-up, dark pigtail buns, and purple flowered corset reveal a strange mastery over Victorianesque aesthetics.
Sade, Ordinary Love, 1992
Sade is a beautiful bi-racial mermaid in this video. While her lover is dressed in classic sailor stripes, her longer- than- long hair, tiny hoop earrings, and minimal make-up conjure a beauty that is both ethereal and modern. Her mermaid tail shimmers and teeters on her incomparable vocals. A standout fashion moment is when she becomes human and emerges in a white beaded trim crop top, see-through skirt and slacks underneath.
Monique Quintana is a contributing Beauty and Fashion Editor at Luna Luna and the Editor-in-Chief of the blogazine, Razorhouse. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing Fiction from CSU Fresno, and her work has appeared in Huizache, Bordersenses, and The Acentos Review, among others. She is a Pocha/Chicana identified feminist bruja and English teacher from Californifornia's Central Valley.