This week in fashion: Alicia Keys, Janelle Monae, Savannah Brinson and more

SLIDESHOW - This week in black fashion, Holly Robinson Peete, Janelle Monae, Savannah Brinson and more African-American celebrities brought major style -- and a few surprises...

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

This week in black fashion, Holly Robinson Peete, Janelle Monae, Savannah Brinson and more African-American celebrities brought major style — and a few surprises. Yes, the element of the unusual is the theme of the last few days, with many of our favorite luminaries pushing beyond their sartorial boundaries to reveal idiosyncratic elements of their personas.

Take music star Alicia Keys. The community-minded star just raised $1.3 million for charity at her annual Black Ball, and brought Old Hollywood glamour in a long maroon gown along with other fab attendees. But, she turned up in a rather unusual ensemble earlier this week. Her bright blue motorcycle jacket and maroon lipstick were a major departure from her typically neutral palette.

Daring? Yes. Was it working on her? Let us know in the comments below.

Big shock number two was America’s Next Top Model winner Eva Pigford making a public appearance in waist-length box braids. Her sleeveless, champagne-colored gown with gorgeous embroidery was an impeccable choice for the Let The Kids Grow Foundation Holiday Gala in L.A. The hair was an added pop! Certainly, she was noticed.

Also in attendance at the same soiree were Shayne and Bria Murphy, daughters of their megastar father Eddie. While their body-conscious gowns looked flattering on their slim physiques, likely inherited from their gorgeous mother Nicole, their fashion choices alone were not jarring. It’s seeing them in public together posing prettily that sets one’s mind racing in new directions. Could they be the next Kylie and Kendall Jenner? Or Paris and Nicky Hilton? Hard to say — but seeing the picture above can make us hope.

Kerry Washington in bangs, Janelle Monae combining a futuristic bracelet with her retro gear, and Rihanna looking prim and proper in a long dress also produced double takes. Speaking of Rihanna, the pop star has just landed a new reality TV show, Styled to Rock, a strange departure for a singer. Yet she will ostensibly lead a group of designers competing against each other while helping them improve their work. Newsworthy, and definitely a stunner!

In addition, Rihanna launched her Nude fragrance this week. Certainly a big time in fashion for her.

But the loveliest style moment might belong to Savannah Brinson, fiancée of NBA superstar LeBron James. James and Brinson were in New York City this week, as he was honored as the Sports Illustrated Sportsman of the Year. LeBron has been noted in many outlets for his impeccable fashion sense, yet their appearance together this week saw the couple equally matched. Brinson wore an Emilio Pucci dress with mesh cut outs, clean make-up, minimal accessories, and her hair pulled back to perfection.

We are not the only outlet to have noticed her new level of polish. The future Mrs. James has just been named one of Miami’s Most Stylish people by the hip lifestyle site Stylecaster as well. She has kudos coming at her from all directions. The wake-up moment here is not so much her look, but Brinson stepping out of LeBron’s shadow, with fashion being a main element of her emergence. Well done.

But the future basketball wife is not the only African-American fashionista to bear some head-turning looks this week. Take a look at the slide show above and tell us — whose outfit was the most intriguing?

Follow Alexis Garrett Stodghill on Twitter at @lexisb.