“What’s good, Miley?”
It was the most memorable quote from last month’s VMA award show as Nicki Minaj accepted her Moonman for Best Hip Hop Video.
No one knew quite how to react, especially VMA host, Miley Cyrus, who rolled her eyes and told Minaj “Congratu-fucking-lations.”
While tongues wagged about this catty exchange, it actually “was all in fun,” according to designers Phillipe and David Blond, who spoke to The Daily Beast during New York Fashion Week, ahead of their September 17 runway show.
The duo, who are better known as The Blonds, has worked very closely with both of the feuding singers. In fact, Cyrus opened this year’s VMA show in a multicolored sequin jumpsuit and floral jacket that was designed by the pair.
“I honestly think that anyone who is a professional at that level is never really going to have an issue with another performer,” David said of Cyrus and Minaj.
“They all have bigger issues to be worried about,” Phillipe added.
The Blonds, of all people, should know the inner workings of the MTV crowd and its cliques.
When we spoke at the Rootstein Gallery, which bills itself as the “world’s leading mannequin designer,” in New York’s Chelsea neighborhood, we stood amongst a retrospective collection of designs they had specifically created for Beyoncé, Rihanna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera.
The most notable piece in the room was one of their very first designs—a silver one-piece that was covered in crystals ranging from tiny to massive.
Fate would have it that Beyoncé be the star who debuted it to the world. She wore it in her “Upgrade U” video from 2006.
“This one definitely holds a really special place for us,” David said. “They all have these really special moments that you just can’t top and each one has its own little story. Every time a client puts something on, it really comes to life.”
Directly behind the piece was another Beyoncé favorite—a black-and-red one-piece fitted with massive red jewels. A headpiece with the same extravagant features accompanied the look that was featured on the cover of Bey’s 4 album.
Another iconic celeb ensemble in the gallery was a gold dress decorated with spikes of all sizes that was once worn by Rihanna. It was hard to be star-struck, though, when it was close proximity to a blue feather-and-sequin jumpsuit with a plunging neckline that was featured in Britney Spear’s “Work Bitch” video and a head-to-toe black bedazzled catsuit once worn by Daphne Guinness.
Despite the famous clientele fashion on display, we were actually at the Rootstein Gallery to celebrate Phillipe and his inauguration into the world of mannequins. Rootstein had created a male and female version of the designer.
The dual bodies were a fitting choice—Phillipe is notorious for always presenting himself in drag form. He’s tall and slim with sharp features and long, flowing blond hair. That night, he was wearing black skinny jeans, a black tuxedo cape and sky-high heels.
“It’s incredible,” Phillipe said. “Drag is suddenly becoming this big thing, even though it’s been around forever. It’s becoming more accessible now for younger people and they can finally feel that it’s OK to express themselves this way.”
Not only does Phillipe participate in their shows, but a large following of drag queens have flocked to the Blonds’ looks, praising them for being majorly glam and over-the-top in the best way possible.
The Blonds’ NYFW show was no different. Guests were promised “all gold everything” in an “Egyptian disco flavor” by the designers—and that’s exactly what we got.
Phillipe kicked off the show in a crystal-encrusted body suit. It flashed and glittered from head to toe as the gold jewels and adornments hit the runway lights. One by one models filled out in skintight minis and massive, bouncy pigtails.
The designs featured gold spikes and shiny snakeskin fabrics. Various shades of blue jewels were woven into the collection that looked straight from the future. The massive studs of one piece gave the look reptilian features, including a long, tail-like accessory draping from the model’s neck to her ankles.
I wasn’t surprised by the showing, considering the tidbits the Blonds had offered as we walked through the Rootstein Gallery. “We are taking everything to the next level,” Phillipe said. “We are doing even more embellishment than before.”
Other pieces in the collection were less extravagant, like a stripped long-sleeved romper void of any bulky adornments and an ankle-length dress that was a more understated (and sheer) version of their reptile look from earlier in the night.
This might be their way of hinting at a look into a ready-to-wear collection, which fans have been demanding as of late. According to the designers, they might be getting their prayers answered in the near future.
“We are looking forward to it,” David said. “We are trying to decide which direction we want to go and looking for the right partner, but we are definitely open to it.”
As for other projects, the two kept mum, asserting there weren’t any projects they were “able to talk about right now.”
Apparently, the Blonds like keeping their fans on their toes–especially when they’re covered in studs and shimmer.