When a fashion house dresses a young female celebrity for an event, results vary widely. Often, the client at hand will look nice — if a bit like a walking advertisement for the brand — though overly precise styling robs the moment of its authenticity. Sometimes, the pairing seems even more contrived, clearly the ill-fitting outcome of, say, a campaign contract. Then, very rarely, a famous person will take the directive to wear a particular brand and style the prescribed collection into something that looks truly personal and, to borrow a word from every bright-eyed start-up founder out there, totally organic.
If there's anyone you would expect to pull that off — and beyond that, to make customization a priority — it's Claire Boucher, the 27-year-old Canadian artist and musician better known as Grimes. For those of you who are just tuning in, the self-styled (and determinedly self-produced) pop star is just as recognizable for her constantly shifting hair colors and mash-up outfits as she is for her particular brand of ethereal electronic music. Gearing up to release her fourth album on Friday, Grimes made a pit stop on the Upper East Side on Wednesday night to perform for a crowd of wealthy young New Yorkers and models at the Guggenheim International Gala's pre-party, sponsored for the third year by Dior.
Naturally, she wore a look from the fashion house, a gray embroidered haute couture jumpsuit that she deftly dressed down by tying the arms around the waist, tossing on a gray tank top and adding bedazzled Dior sneakers. Voila: the organic moment. It looked sick.
Despite the highbrow setting, which seemed especially fancy in the glow of Dior's sponsorship (or maybe that was just the purple light emanating from the circular stage erected on the museum's ground floor), the attendees crowded the base of Grimes's platform, sipping their champagne while wiggling and bobbing to the beat — most feverishly when Grimes dropped to the floor, shrieking and writhing, during her new song, "Scream." High fashion is often alienating. The rare moments when it meets a visceral, wretched display of human emotion are oddly reassuring.