Concerning The Bombshell Billie Eilish is featured on the cover of British Vogue.
The pop star known for defying gender norms donned a corset for a glamorous makeover. Not everybody is pleased.
Billie Eilish needs you to know she's in control, bold and self-assured enough to abandon the raffish persona that helped her amass a global following in favor of something a little more... adult.
She vamps on the cover of British Vogue this month, a portrait of deftly staged provocation. The artist, who was previously known for her shocking green hair, has gone blonde and absolute bombshell, ditching her signature sweats in favor of a more domme-than-deb look: pink Gucci corset and skirt worn over Agent Provocateur skivvies and accessorized with latex gloves and leggings.
The editor in chief of the magazine, Edward Enninful, wrote in the June issue that the decision was hers. “What if, she thought, she desired to reveal more of her body in a fashion story for the first time?” Mr. Enninful was reminded. “What if she desired to experiment with corsetry and embrace the aesthetic of mid-century pin-ups, which she has always admired? It was time for something different, she stated.”
To that end, Ms. Eilish embraced the worn-out trappings of female allure, offering the camera, without obvious irony, a nod to the sirens of golden-age Hollywood and those of more recent vintage, including Taylor Swift, Cardi B, and Megan Thee Stallion.
And she is confident in her appearance. She seems to be finished with hiding her curves under neon toned track suits and hoodies. “My thing is that I can do whatever I want,” she told journalist Laura Snapes, before preemptively disarming would-be detractors.
“Suddenly, if you want to expose your skin, you become a hypocrite, and you become simple and a slut,” Ms. Eilish explained in the interview. “Let us revers it and be inspired by it. Exposing your body and skin — or not — does not detract from your respect.”
Real. Lucie Greene, a trend forecaster and brand consultant, explained that "her pushback has been her agency in this." After all, Eilish, like many of her Gen Z peers, possesses a sophisticated grasp of visual language and representation. She's garnered a following for her self-assured subversion of beauty standards. And she's bringing the same assurance to this.”
Nonetheless, others may doubt her agency, wondering whether, at the age of 19, Ms. Eilish has the foresight or sagacity to weather the potential fallout. Consider Tavi Gevinson, the former fashion blogger turned author and actress who was once known for her voluminous layers and granny glasses. Ms. Gevinson recently discussed doing a photo shoot at the age of 18 in an article for The Cut. Prompted to pose on her bed, she donned a skimpy romper, "pouting" with deeply lined eyes and straightened blonde hair, as she remembered. Without a doubt, she was eager to improve her profile. Additionally, she wrote, "if someone present told me the whole setup was my idea, I would believe them."
Ms. Eilish seems to be in a similar frame of mind, presenting her metamorphosis as a deftly brazen, self-determined update. Some supporters are shouting. “She still looks amazing in oversized clothing,” Karin Ann Trabelssie, a 19-year-old student from Jelina, Slovakia, wrote via email. As with Ms. Eilish, she once evaded examination by concealing a curvy body under baggy shirts and trousers. She wrote, ecstatic over her idol's new look, "I very rarely see someone with a similar body type to me do anything like this." It's energizing.”
Others perceive betrayal. “Before: one-of-a-kind, distinct, in a league of her own,” Stewin @jetztissesraus wrote on Twitter. “Subsequent: common, interchangeable, sleek and polished. "How come?"
That was a foregone conclusion. Earlier in her career, Ms. Eilish may lay claim to being a one-off. She maintained that a stylist had no role in her life. “I could easily say, 'You know what, you're going to pick out my clothing, someone else is going to come up with my video treatments, someone else is going to direct them, and I'm not going to be involved in any of it,'" she said. “However, I am not that kind of person or artist.”
Yet for Vogue, she entrusted her reputation and personality entirely to a team headed by Dena Giannini, the magazine's style chief, with input from top designers such as Gucci's Alessandro Michele. Ms. Eilish's transition may seem to indicate that she is content to abandon her previously unconventional approach in favor of a fetish-infused bombshell look that appeared hackneyed when Madonna was a teen. If her reinvention presents a danger, it is that she will become a cliché.