Janelle Monáe Is Deeply Committed to Wearing Black and White on the Red Carpet

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Janelle Monáe attends The 2023 Met Gala Celebrating "Karl Lagerfeld: A Line Of Beauty"
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Janelle Monáe has made a name for herself as an actress, with standout roles in Moonlight and Hidden Figures, and as a musician, with hits like “Make Me Feel” and “I Like That.” Though throughout her various ventures, Monáe has not diverged from her sartorial preferences, which include a love of classic tuxedos, graphic prints, and always, a black and white color palette.

The Kansas-native has a penchant for American designers like Ralph Lauren, Thom Browne, and Christian Siriano (whose playful, sculptural creations she has worn on several red carpets). But she also isn't a stranger to the world of couture, having worn intricate ensembles from the likes of Elie Saab, Chanel, and Jean Paul Gaultier. And while black and white are certainly her go-to, she also is one to incorporate hints of golds and silvers as well as a top hat, hood, or glittering headpiece for good measure. Here, a look back at the singer-turned-actress’s most memorable looks on the red carpet.

2023: Met Gala
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Monáe wore a sculptural patchwork Thom Browne ensemble—in which she later stripped down to just her underpinnings—at the 2023 Met Gala.

2022: Vanity Fair Oscar Party
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For the Vanity Fair Oscars Party, Monáe wore a daring cutout Christian Siriano number.

2022: Met Gala
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The singer and actress kept to her black and white theme at the 2022 Met Gala where she donned a glittering Ralph Lauren hooded gown.

2020: Academy Awards
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Monáe chose another hooded Ralph Lauren gown, this time for the 2020 Academy Awards.

2019: Golden Globes
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The star incorporated accents of gold within her usual black and white when she wore a Chanel column gown for the 2019 Golden Globe Awards.

2019: Grammy Awards
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Monáe donned a sculptural Jean Paul Gaultier dress to the 2019 Grammy Awards that featured textured detailing and a gold top hat.

2019: Met Gala
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Monáe turned heads in a vibrant Christian Siriano gown for the 2019 Camp-themed Met Gala.

2018: Met Gala
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The multi-hyphenate wore another two-toned look—a Marc Jacobs gown that featured a glittering headpiece and top hat for the 2019 Met Gala themed “Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination.”

2017: Academy Awards
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An Elie Saab haute couture gown complete with a billowing skirt and sheer upper portion was the outfit of choice for the 2017 Academy Awards.

2017: Golden Globe Awards
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Monáe wowed in a custom high-low Armani gown at the annual Golden Globe Awards. The dazzling number featured polka dot details and a sequined bodice.

2016: Grammy Awards

Monáe sported a Jean Paul Gaultier dress for the 2016 Grammy Awards that she paired with black boots, a clutch, and a coordinating hat.

2014: Met Gala
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Monáe opted for a floor-length embroidered Tadashi Shoji cape over a white turtleneck and black trousers, with Jimmy Choo sandals to the 2014 Met Gala.

2013: Grammy Awards
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Channeling matador chic at the 55th Annual Grammy Awards, the songstress donned an embellished three-piece suit accessorized with a flat top hat.

2012: Met Gala
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At the 2012 Met Gala, the singer ditched her classic tuxedo look for a sleek black satin sleeveless jumpsuit with crystal accents. She completed her look with crystal chandelier earrings and minimal accessories.

2011: Grammy Awards
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Monáe looked like a glam rock star at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards in a sparkling black fitted tuxedo paired with a crisp white button-down shirt, a thin ribbon tie, and fitted satin trousers.

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