Janelle Monae stood in the background of Rebecca Minkoff‘s runway show, but she also stood out. On September 6, inside Lincoln Center, Monae performed songs with enough vigor to loosen one curl from her otherwise neat pompadour — make that her Monae.
Backed by a band from her own creative collective Wondaland Art Society, Monae kicked off the show with The ArchAndroid‘s skittering “Dance And Die” and locomotive lead single “Tightrope.” For the final walk, she offered up a snippet of funk romp “Q.U.E.E.N.,” from her new album The Electric Lady. Minkoff’s collection may have been colorful — Bianca Jagger was a key inspiration — but the ever-attentive Fashion Week crowd still took notice of the dynamic performer.
Live music during New York Fashion Week is a rarity, even though music is key to set the mood for a runway show. When Monae spoke with Billboard afterward, she made the collaboration sound organic. “I‘m a fan of Rebecca’s work, she pays such close attention to detail, and I actually almost forgot my lyrics during the performance because I saw these amazing pair of shoes,” she said.
She must be referring to those killer gladiator stilettos. Watch Monae’s Fashion Week performance up top.