A long-sleeved off-the-shoulder top with a nipple pasty is an outfit statement that brings to mind exactly one other fashion moment: Lil' Kim's iconic 1999 MTV VMA's get-up. Naturally, many caught on to this possible reference when Nicki Minaj showed up in a one-sleeved, pasty-trimmed look at the Haider Ackermann show in Paris — and the fact that the two performers haven't always gotten along. But yesterday, Minaj posted a photo on Instagram that hints at the inspiration behind the front-row look seen 'round the world, and it actually predates Lil' Kim (by a long time).
The rapper regrammed a post by her seat mate at the show, Caroline de Maigret, who shared an image of Pablo Piccaso's "La femme à l'éventail," a portrait of a woman holding a fan (and wearing a one-shouldered garment that exposes her breast) that dates back to 1907, right after the show. As Footwear News pointed out, could this be interpreted as the true inspiration behind the outfit?
More broadly, Minaj's Paris Fashion Week aesthetic can be described as "sexy but futuristic," according to stylist Maher Jridi, who's been working with the rapper for about two weeks now. "We are taking another direction, this is just the evolution of her style, we want to try new things," he told Vogue. "I’m from France, I have very European tastes, so I’m just trying to meet in between, to take the American hip-hop culture that I also love and understand and add that couture high fashion touch and combine them."
For the Haider Ackermann show, that translated to pairing a Mugler leather top and Agent Provocateur pasty with Givenchy shorts. (Jridi told Vogue that both he and Nicki are big fans of Riccardo Tisci's work for the latter.) The apparent art history inspiration is just a reminder that Minaj will never not surprise us.