It's not everyday that I get to bust out with an exclusive anything so in a Freaky Friday moment, Azealia Banks has graced this blog with her presence as the final pi√®ce de r√©sistance to ASOS' Christmas campaign #BestNightEver. The shoppable video above features a brand new track aptly called Fierce and is set to Azealia loading up on bindis n' bling, velvet and faux fur. Following Charlotte Free and Ellie Goulding's shoppable videos that have been launched on ASOS over the last few weeks, Azealia Banks is the last sparkly gem to get us all excited for Crimbo dressing.
I spoke to Sharmadean Reid, founder of WAH Nails and all-round superwoman, who styled Azealia for the video about working with an artist who is by all accounts, as exuberant about fashion as she is about her music. I remember clocking Azealia at a Topshop Unique show two seasons ago, just as she was blowing up, and loved how she looked so genuinely excited to be at a fashion show as opposed to donning the "I'm terribly bored. When can I leave?" look. Sharmadean's referencing for the shoot are clear from her Tumblr as well as from the video itself and from the sound of it, Azealia instantly "got" what she was trying to achieve.
"Azealia is amazing. She's definitely got the WAH mentality and knows exactly what she likes. In terms of my references, they always come from close to home. I always want a little bit of the London downtown aesthetic, how me and crew dress, mixed with some uptown glamour. So we put her in sexy, textured dresses but with some dope tough jewellery to add some edge to the look. Make up wise we took ques from the videos of the late 1990's. A dark lip, a bronze eye and really matte, perfect skin."
"Clearly working with Nicola (Formichetti) has influenced her personal style and she's extremely well versed in fashion and what's hot currently. She's got a natural curiosity for new things and the origin of certain references and on set it, we really enjoyed introducing her to some particularly London things, like some legendary UK Garage producers (!). Growing up in Harlem, New York, Azealia clearly has taken heed from that city look and mixed it with high fashion pieces."
"The shoot provided a great opportunity to take some hot Christmas party outfits and mix it a touch of sophistication in a way that perfectly suited Azealia's own personal style. She wanted to keep something signature on every shot so we worked with bindis and body jewels on her face and body to add a bit of genie glamour (mermaid is over) to the whole thing. And obviously her hair is an iconic part of her look now, she is very much on genie/arabic style so we went for reds rather than underwater blues. Azealia's great in that respect in that she plays a different character each time. That's what you want your pop stars to do."