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Doja Cat’s Bold Paris Fashion Week Looks Came With a Message


Doja Cat attends the Givenchy Womenswear Spring/Summer 2023 show as part of Paris Fashion Week  on O...
Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis Entertainment/Getty Images

It’s hard to believe that, prior to this year, Doja Cat—the musician who’s swept the pop landscape with her idiosyncratic approach to making hits, serving looks, and promoting her various contractual obligations on TikTok—had never attended Paris Fashion Week. But indeed, the spring 2023 season was Doja’s very first time sitting front row at shows like Balenciaga, Givenchy, and Thom Browne. “We have been talking about going to Paris for years for fashion week, but for the first time, we wanted to do it right—and this year felt like the right year,” Doja Cat tells W via e-mail. “My fashion week experience was special because I was able to get the message across to people that I am an explorer of art and fashion. I don’t think I thoroughly have been able to get that message across.”

New York Fashion Week was a warm-up of sorts for the artist’s boundary-breaking looks. Earlier this month she attended Vogue World’s runway show with her face fully painted in a white web of makeup. Come September 30, Doja Cat took her personal approach to everyday style (“black, simplicity, twist,” as she describes it) and turned it on its head, appearing in a range of modernist beauty looks that complemented a wardrobe of forward-thinking fashions. Armed with her travel must-haves—“My Hitachi [massage wand] and Shiseido eye mask”—the musician traveled from show to show while blasting Little Brother (her current favorite rap artist) and fitting in trips to the restaurant Bonnie (“I really love the lobster—it is fantastic,” she says). As for her favorite presentation? “I don’t pick favorites. Every show was incredible.” Below, Doja Cat shares her photo diary during her very first Paris Fashion Week—cementing her status as fashion and beauty rule breaker.

Photograph by Jacob Webster

Day One: Upon touchdown in the City of Lights, Doja Cat jetted to Kenzo’s party at Cirque d’Hiver, where she performed a nearly 45-minute set. Here, the artist wears a look that nods toward Kenzo’s fall 2022 collection, which was themed “Kenzo University.”

Photograph by Jacob Webster

Day Two: With a Balenciaga mouthguard firmly in place, Doja Cat does a fitting with her creative director, Brett Alan Nelson. Here, she tries on a look by Vivienne Westwood.

Photograph by Jacob Webster

Ahead of the Andreas Kronthaler for Vivienne Westwood show, Doja Cat pauses to have Nelson fix her look. The pop star says she collaborated with makeup artist Laurel Charleston on a beauty concept “that would contrast nicely with something so beautiful and bohemian. We did the juxtaposition to that look, and it was inspired by a makeup artist named Mei Pang.”

Photograph by Jacob Webster

Day Three: A trip to the Balenciaga atelier influenced the look Doja Cat ultimately settled upon to attend Demna’s spring 2023 presentation. “I worked with an amazing artist by the name of Sophia Sinot—she does a beautiful, theatrical bruised look that I wanted for this show, because I feel there is a toughness behind the brand,” she says. “The most exciting thing behind this look is when we showed up to the show, the first models came out on the runway with almost the same exact look.”

Photograph by Jacob Webster

Doja Cat made sure she attended the Balenciaga after party, where she paused for some photos with Kylie Jenner and Khloé Kardashian. But it was the runway presentation’s overall message that stuck with the star. “To read Demna’s [show] notes, I share the same views on fashion and in my music,” she says. “If I had to define my art, I would do so the same way as Demna did through his show.”

Photograph by Jacob Webster

A fitting at the Givenchy atelier shows Doja Cat has come a long way from her style as a teenager, which she describes as “dressing like an idiot. And my makeup was not the best.” These days, she leans toward all-black looks—her leather Ralph Lauren blazer is “for sure a staple.”

Photograph by Jacob Webster

Day Four: “For Lanvin, it was a bit of a quick change over. But I wanted to still do something exciting, while keeping it classic and chic—which is what Lanvin is,” Doja Cat says.

Photograph by Jacob Webster

Here, the musician glances through the archives at the Lanvin atelier with the brand’s team.

Photograph by Jacob Webster

Trying on a potential look for the Monot show...

Photo by Richard Bord/Getty Images

...and the finished product. For her intricate makeup look—which included paint from her upper arms to her fingertips—Doja Cat and her makeup artist drew inspiration from Bea Sweet. “She did a beautiful look that went from a black to a blue to a white—it felt so perfect for the show because of how simple and beautiful it was,” Doja explains.

Photograph by Jacob Webster

Next up—an audience in the front row with none other than Janet Jackson at Thom Browne.

Photograph by Jacob Webster

“I think Thom Browne is one of the most exciting designers of today,” Doja Cat says. “I wanted his clothing to live on my body without it being clumped together with a wild make up look, because it holds so much power on its own. Laurel Charleston but a tab down my lip and chin as an ode to the designer. It was so simple, but felt perfect and elegant.”

Photograph by Jacob Webster

For her final look of the week, Doja Cat aimed to go out with a bang. “It only felt right to do a gold bust for the finale as our trophy look,” she says. “I really wanted this to feel surreal and natural. We didn’t add eye shadow, lashes, lipstick, or eyebrows because it wasn’t about being sexy or beautiful. It was about the message and feeling empowered and living as your highest self.”

Photograph by Jacob Webster

Here, Doja Cat does a fitting with designer Simon Porte Jacquemus, decked out in gold. “I’ve never felt more beautiful in any other look,” she says. “We later went shopping and to lunch after, but I could barely eat my salad.”