The Fashion Highlights of the 2018 Billboard Music Awards

The 2018 Billboard Music Awards was as fabulous and star-studded as ever. Playing host to performers, presenters, and more, the event held at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, naturally delivered several major fashion moments on the red carpet. Below, our favorite looks from the celebration of music.
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Photography by Doosoo Kim

"Selfish Love"

Rashid Johnson is a 40-year-old visual art star from Chicago whose work has been featured everywhere from the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Studio Museum of Harlem to the Venice Beach Biennale. The doorman may have been observant, aware of all the hotel's guests, or even a fan of Johnson's work who was too intimidated to say something—we'll never know. But racism can function in such a manner that you come to expect it even more than you actually experience it. Through that sense of apprehension (and many other ways), racism becomes a constant impact on your life, whether or not it is experienced in a given encounter. "The fascinating thing about race," Johnson says, "is the fact that we know it does affect you, but one of the things that's most difficult to explain sometimes is how and when you're experiencing those specific things." 

Johnson knows and embraces the fact that race influences his life constantly—even if he can't always put a finger on exactly how—and that's part of why he likes directly addressing race in his work. For him, when you realize that race has a perpetual significance in your life, then you can't make honest art that doesn't take race into account. "I'm not offended by being called a Black artist," Johnson says. "I don't see being a Black artist as a ghettoizing space. I don't think it's negative." He accepts being thought of as a Black artist because he accepts that Blackness has a deep impact on him, but also because he loves Blackness in all of its complexity. "I'm invested in the investigation of Blackness," he says. "I'm absolutely invested in that, and I am totally intrigued." 

Prints on Prints at Erdem 

It’s absolutely certain that no one could have possibly fallen asleep at the Erdem show this season, with the 48-look collection being a pointed use of bright colors, large floral prints, and dramatic veiled hats. Perfect for a mysterious garden party, the runway show debuted a whimsical fairytale of a collection.

“It’s transparent, but it’s not ozonic in that it doesn’t have ‘fresh ocean’ molecules,” he continues. “It’s not exactly citrus, but there are things that are in bergamot in there. It’s musky but not animalic! It’s not exactly woody, but there’s fir santal in there, which is a chemical that smells blue, like a dry woody note. There are elements that are iris-y and violet-like. There’s even sort of a coffee note in there as well.”

Got it? That said...

“It doesn’t really smell like anything,”  he continues. “I smell feathers. Like an expensive down jacket.” Speaking of expensive, Moltz created IDKW as a way of offering customized fragrance without breaking the bank.

“To make an actual custom perfume for someone takes so much time, so much back and forth, so it also takes so much money,” he says. “This is a super easy way to play a little with your own scents.”

It will also extend what you love. “Creating I Don’t Know What comes from a real need that I had,” he confesses. “When we’re going out, I’ll grab sandalwood or vetiver or patchouli and smell awesome for about an hour, but it also will smell muddy, and [one spray of IDKW] is like, Boom! It’s going to last.”

Moltz has plans for more modifiers. Next up: a leather one that will, well, you can figure it out. “Creating a modifier is a way to take nerdy perfumer language and transfer it to perfume lovers, so they can participate,” says Kavi. “It’s just a different way of thinking about perfume. We’re all about broadening the discussion.”

Emirates First and Business Class Lounge at Changi Airport


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"I’ve seen her put under intense pressure. I’ve seen her criticized like, “Oh, you’re a model because you’re a famous person.” It’s actually the opposite. Her fame was one of the greatest things she’s had to overcome."

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