When Nicki Minaj was brought onstage at the iHeartRadio Music Festival this past weekend her dancers rolled her out on a hospital gurney. The idea she wanted to get across, with a pink piece of fried chicken dangling from her neck, was that in some ways she’s a little crazy. The chicken wing, attached with gold loops, drew more attention than any other thing Minaj has done this year, save for sitting next to Vogue editor Anna Wintour at New York Fashion Week.
“She has a flare for creating unapologetic, iconic moments and is never afraid to push her own boundaries,” said L.A.-based designer Marco Marco. “I’m always excited to work on a new concept with her, because she taps into my own sense of color and humor as a designer and that is a lot of fun.”
With the recent chicken necklace move, some critics are saying that Minaj is pushing the pop star envelope too much, even modeling herself after Lady Gaga.
“I think Gaga is on her own plane. She’s on something totally different,” said Minaj’s choreographer Mr. Lucky. “I don’t think Nicki is that invested in being different…in being shocking. But she’s really crazy,” he said.
For those who shook their heads, the chicken wing was a move in the wrong direction. “Feel this is a bad look for Nicki Minaj? I mean chicken, yes chicken… NO, NO, NO Nicki Minaj… Stay classy young lady,” wrote a commentator on the website Thyblackman.com
Minaj is considered by many to be within the mainstream in terms of her music’s popularity, but her style is anything but trendsetting. In the same way Lady Gaga has made her appearance as much a part of her art as her music, Minaj follows suit, but with her own artistic motif’s such as pastel colored wigs and appearing as characters in a so-called “psychotic wonderland”.
Lucky, Minaj’s choreographer since Britney Spears’ recent Femme Fatale tour said the chicken necklace was well planned. Yet, he was shocked by it, even though he thought it was humorous when she debuted it the night of her show. It was an accessory Minaj’s team of stylists put some thought behind. Something as simple as a necklace choice drew media attention for days following a mega concert that Minaj was just a small part of.
But does Minaj really know what’s going on in the fashion world?
“She’s sitting at the front row at red carpet events. She’s aware,” said Lucky. “She knows what’s hot. If you notice for fashion week, the polka dotted shirt she came in, there are a lot of little girls living the average life that want to wear a shirt like that.”
Her jewelry choices most likely won’t have the same type of reaction from fans. Although she’s been know to invest thousands into custom diamond necklaces and bangles, the chicken piece was more of a costume piece according to jewelers.
“Jewelry these days is just getting more detailed,” said L.A. jeweler, Ben Baller or If and Co. “People are understanding quality over quantity, finally. But that’s costume jewelry. So who cares,” he said regarding the chicken wing piece, calling it “clay candy.”