On June 13, Janelle Monáe's Dirty Computer Tour hit Portland, and it wasn't just the performance that left the sold-out audience at Edgefield screaming for more. The R&B singer is as much a fashion icon as she is a musical wonder, and she proved it throughout the night with multiple, awe-inspiring wardrobe changes. Here are our favorite looks she rocked during the show.
1. Monáe demanded respect and attention from the get-go. She opened the show in a long, wrapped X-print military-style jacket, which she opened to reveal a black-and-white-checked bodysuit she and her dancers would wear for the remainder of the show. The singer has been known for her black-and-white aesthetic in the past, as representation of the duality she explores in her music. She mixed it here with a signature splash of red via her over-the-knee boots and details on her jacket.
2. A raspberry beret topped just about every outfit she changed into, resembling the halo that encircles her head on Dirty Computer's album cover. The beret was an obvious nod to her late friend and mentor, Prince.
3. After a few songs came the highly anticipated "vagina pants," as the internet has dubbed them. The pink ruffled pants, first revealed in the "Pynk" music video, were designed by Duran Lantik and made to resemble a vulva, physically manifesting the album's theme of female sexual empowerment. She paired them here with a cut-off version of her "Dirty" hoodie, which unsurprisingly sold out in nearly every size by the time the show ended.
4. The "Pynk" pants came off, revealing a casual leggings-and-hoodie ensemble, which also introduced a more "stripped-down" moment of the set overall. She got real with the audience, encouraging them to "choose freedom" over fear. The dancers also wore cropped versions of tour merchandise—pink tees reading "Highly Melanated" on the front, a reference to a line from the powerful single "Django Jane":
Already got a Oscar for the casa
Runnin' down Grammys with the family
Prolly give a Tony to the homies
Prolly get a Emmy dedicated to the
Highly melanated, ArchAndroid orchestrated
Yeah, we highly melanated, ArchAndroid orchestrated
5. At one point, fans at the front of the pit were waving a giant Pride flag and offered it to Monáe, who took it and waved it for a while from the stage. Then she put on an embellished white jacket reading "Riots Start Everywhere"—another "Django Jane" reference. "And we gon' start a motherfuckin' pussy riot," Monae rapped, "or we gon' have to put 'em on a pussy diet." Equal rights for women, people of color and the LGBTQIA community were a constant theme throughout the show. She also gave a shout-out to Pussy Riot, the Russian feminist protest punk group.
6. For the encore, Monáe's put her red boots back on, along with a kepi-style hat and another military-style jacket reminiscent of Civil War uniforms made famous by another of her inspirations, Michael Jackson. It drove home the themes of the evening: Monáe is demanding equality, reclamation and love—and she is willing to go to war for them.