Nicki Minaj’s Best Red Carpet Looks Are the Pinkprint of Out-There Fashion

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Nicki Minaj attends the Heavenly Bodies: Fashion & The Catholic Imagination Costume Institute Gala
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When people think of Nicki Minaj’s style, they likely immediately picture the outrageous wigs and and clashing patterns of her Pink Friday era. Back when Minaj was just entering the scene in 2010 and 2011, the rapper embraced multi-colored hair, heavily embellished looks, and red carpet stunts (who can forget the faux Pope at the 2012 Grammys). But over the years, Minaj has gone through many different iterations of dressing, like in 2014, when her style got noticeably more refined.

“I went so far to the other side that there's only one place to go from there,” Minaj told MTV News in April 2014. “You can either continue doing costumes or you can just say, ‘Hey guess what? This will shock them even more. Doing nothing will shock them even more.’”

From there, Minaj began to embrace sleek dresses—many by Alexander McQueen—which hugged her body and showed off her curves. Since then, though, Minaj has found a balance, a way to show off her quirky style without throwing all the ideas at the wall at once. These days, its more rare to see the rapper on the red carpet, but we know when she appears, she’s going to give us a look to talk about. In honor of her 41st birthday, we’re looking back through the eras of Minaj’s style, from her Pink Friday days to now.

2023: MTV Video Music Awards
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Minaj tapped Dolce & Gabbana to turn her into a lingerie-clad bridal Barbie for the MTV VMAs in 2023.

2023: Barbie Los Angeles Premiere
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While the Barbie premiere would have been the perfect opportunity for Minaj to once again embrace her go-to bright pink hue, she eschewed the shade for a blueish-gray Alaïa spring 2023 set.

2022: MTV Video Music Awards
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When Minaj was honored with the Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award at the VMAs in 2022, she took the stage to accept the honor in an apologetically pink draped satin gown from Dolce & Gabbana with a bodice of crystal embellishments to add a bit of sparkle.

2022: Met Gala
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Despite the fact that Minaj’s Burberry look was custom-made, the top was a little small, something the rapper commented on while walking the red carpet. “Enjoy these titties, ’cause y’all ain’t gonna see that ever again,” she said during an interview at the event.

2019: Met Gala
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For the “Camp: Notes on Fashion” Met Gala, Minaj went all out in this crystal-embellished pink mini dress with an over-the-top train by Prabal Gurung.

2018: MTV Video Music Awards

Minaj wore an Off-White fall 2018 bodysuit with an attached tulle skirt to the 2018 VMAs.

2018: Met Gala
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Minaj’s completely sequined Oscar de la Renta gown, topped with a rosary style headpiece was perfect for the Catholica Imagination Met Gala in 2018.

2017: Harper’s Bazaar Icons
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This floral-embellished Oscar de la Renta dress was a bit of a departure for Minaj, who is rarely ever seen in a ballgown.

2017: MTV Video Music Awards
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Not only did Minaj wear a Barbie pink custom Vex Latex jumpsuit on the VMAs red carpet, but she wore another black and white one to perform later in the evening as well.

2017: amfAR Gala Cannes
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Going for more of a romantic aesthetic, Minaj stunned in this low-cut lace Roberto Cavalli Couture gown with a high-low hem.

2017: Met Gala
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Minaj wore a custom look by H&M to the 2017 Met Gala, featuring tiny little shorts and a long, embellished train.

2016: MTV Video Music Awards
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This cobalt blue cutout Bao Tranchi dress was so tight, Minaj struggled to walk in it on the red carpet.

2016: Met Gala
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Minaj mixed sparkle with edge in this buckled-up Moschino look at the 2016 Met Gala.

2015: MTV Video Music Awards
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Wearing a gold, extremely low-cut Labourjoisie gown, Minaj attended the MTV VMAs in August 2015.

2015: BET Awards
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Minaj covered up a bit more than usual when she opted to wear this long-sleeve, zip-up Givenchy dress to the 2015 BET Awards.

2015: Grammy Awards
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Wearing a low-cut Tom Ford dress with a embellished, fringe skirt, Minaj attended the Grammy Awards in February 2015.

2014: American Music Awards
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Minaj went a bit more casual for the 2014 AMAs, wearing an Alexander Wang spring 2015 mini dress to the award show.

2014: Billboard Music Awards
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This Alexander McQueen spring 2014 gown is one of the simpler gowns Minaj has worn, despite it’s cutouts across the torso and chest.

2014: The Other Woman Premiere
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Minaj wore an off-white knit Alexander McQueen gown for the premiere of The Other Woman, in which she played the role of Cameron Diaz’s assistant, Lydia.

2014: MTV Movie Awards
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At the 2014 MTV Movie Awards, Minaj complemented this simple Alexander McQueen dress with gold jewelry by the designer.

2013: Met Gala
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Minaj wore a dark blue Tommy Hilfiger dress with side cutouts to the 2013 Met Gala.

2012: American Music Awards
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The color of this strapless Monique Lhuillier resort 2013 dress made it the perfect choice for Minaj.

2012: Grammy Awards
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Minaj had the best accessory to pair with her custom, red silk Versace robe featuring the brand’s Medusa logo—a faux Pope on her arm.

2011: American Music Awards
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The singer likely picked out this emerald silk taffeta and black lace Oscar de la Renta spring 2012 dress when she was sitting front row at the presentation of the collection two months earlier in September 2011.

2011: MTV Video Music Awards
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It’s hard to describe this look, so we’ll just go with an amalgamation of prints, fabrics, and aesthetics, pulled together around a metallic, geometric dress by Amato Couture, an ice cream necklace by Onch Movement, and a face mask and stuffed animal courtesy of Japenese designer, Shojono Tomo,

2011: Billboard Music Awards
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Minaj paired this pastel blue Mark Fast spring 2011 jumpsuit with white lace-up Versace heels.

2011: Grammy Awards
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Rocking her then-iconic Bride of Frankenstein hair, Minaj wore a full, cheetah print Givenchy fall 2007 couture look to the 53rd annual Grammy Awards.

2010: American Music Awards
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Minaj paired a dual-toned wig with a unique dress featuring a recreated rib cage by Indian designer Manish Arora.

2010: BET Awards
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A simpler look for Minaj, the singer wore a white corset top with a large, billowing skirt to the 2010 BET Awards.

2009: GQ Men of the Year Party
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Minaj paired a classic LBD with a Barbie necklace for the GQ Men of the Year party in 2009.

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