Grazia Editor in Chief Alison Tay on the real reason behind Billie Eilish's signature style

In this essay penned exclusively for Grazia Middle East, Editor in Chief Alison Tay explores how Billie Eilish is navigating her personal style on her own terms, and is winning
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Grazia Editor in Chief Alison Tay on the real reason behind Billie Eilish's signature style
Billie Eilish behind the scenes at her MCM campaign

Billie Eilish is the style maverick the fashion world didn’t know we needed. From her Burberry bonnet, and Louis Vuitton full-face balaclava to a Gucci x Dapper Dan orthopaedic boot custom-made in Harlem for her sprained ankle, her unconventional accessories alone deserve their own essay. Billie’s Gen-Z aesthetic has already wowed the likes of Calvin Klein and MCM, each of whom tapped her up for ad campaigns in 2019, and this year, she’s already subverted red-carpet norms in a succession of iconoclastic looks by Gucci, Chanel and Burberry for the Grammys, Oscars and Brits, respectively.

At the American Music Awards in head-to-toe Burberry

Meanwhile, staying tuned-in to her fanbase, as well as a merch collab with MCM, a high-street drop at H&M featured Billie’s signature oversized silhouettes with an emphasis on sustainably sourced fabrics, in keeping with her stance on climate activism. Of course, behind every internet-breaking outfit is a phenomenal glam team – in Billie’s case, fine-artist-turned- stylist Samantha Burkhart who’s just as au fait with creating large-scale installations and paintings as she is styling avant-garde wardrobes for artists including Katy Perry, Diplo and Sia. A testament to the loyalty and trust between them, Samantha first started working with Billie “back when she had 10,000 followers on Instagram and one song on SoundCloud.”

Billie wearing Louis Vuitton at her album launch

However, her monogram-littered, graffiti-strewn athleisure wear in high-vis hues is more than just a succession of bold, brave, idiosyncratic fashion choices. It’s a conscious decision to opt out of society’s objectification of women’s bodies. “I never want the world to know everything about me. That’s why I wear baggy clothes. No one can have an opinion because they haven’t seen what’s underneath,” she explains. “I want layers and layers and layers. I want to be mysterious.” It’s working. Billie’s brand of social transformation through style is the fashion statement we’ve all been waiting for.

In Chanel at The Oscars

Photos: Supplied