Solange Knowles: The Style of A Seat at the Table

As the one year anniversary for “A Seat at the Table” just passed, ORANGE Magazine highlights some key fashion moments and designers from the first year of the project.

Story by Kennedy Williams

It goes without saying that Solange has style. As the creative director of Puma, she designed sneakers inspired by the vibrancy of Brazil. Between the release of her third project “True” and the “Saint Heron” compilation album in 2013, Solange developed a penchant for outfits with kaleidoscopic elements. Never afraid of a sartorial risk, Solange has cemented her role as a modern style icon.

Upon the release of her latest project, “A Seat at the Table,” Solange’s style became more stripped down, forcing her audience to lean in and take note of the details. While “A Seat at the Table” serves as an intimate look into Solange’s experiences with blackness and womanhood, it is also a project with strong visual language that is created by the work of emerging designers.

Solange’s praise of underground fashion designers is most notable in the visually arresting music videos for “Cranes in the Sky” and “Don’t Touch My Hair.”

Towards the beginning of “Cranes in the Sky,” Solange is adorned in a pink dress made of plastic bags. This conceptual piece was designed by Carlota Guerrero, a Barcelona-based artist, who also served as art director of the video. Guerrero’s work focuses on the beauty of the feminine form and its return to natural landscapes.

  Photo courtesy of YouTube

Photo courtesy of YouTube

Along with Tim White and Solange’s mother Tina Knowles, Guerrero also helped conceptualize the purple connected dress. This dress was inspired by Issey Miyake’s 1999 collection. Solange and her backup singers wore a similar look during a performance on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon.

  Photo courtesy of Much

Photo courtesy of Much

The synchronicity between Solange and Guerrero was made clear through a since-deleted instagram post by Solange that described the purple yarn dress from the music video. The caption read “been hanging out too long with @carlota_guerrero. I f*cked round and made a dress out of yarn.”

  Photo courtesy of Solange Knowles

Photo courtesy of Solange Knowles

Never one to ignore the importance of shoes, Solange can be seen perched atop a tree trunk with shoes by LOQ, a brand based in Los Angeles that prizes unconventional silhouettes and minimalist designs.

  Photo courtesy of YouTube

Photo courtesy of YouTube

In the video for “Don’t Touch My Hair,” Solange makes a statement in a burnt orange custom set by designer James Flemons of Phlemuns. Flemons is known for gender-neutral designs with a sense of 1970s sensibility.

  Photo courtesy of YouTube

Photo courtesy of YouTube

Forever a pioneer of black artisans, Solange wore a custom army green Phlemuns design to the relaunch of the Saint Heron Shop in 2016.

  Photo courtesy of Vibe

Photo courtesy of Vibe

Although the upcoming fall trend of metallic, high-shine pieces was still uncertain, Solange stayed ahead of the curve in this silver, off-white suit at the 2016 CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund Awards. In an interview with Vogue the singer stated “I’m really into head adornments right now...I have Minnie Riperton and Lena Horne to thank for the inspiration.” She continued her silver streak with luminous clips in her hair.

Finally, Solange celebrated the 50th anniversary of Levis in a deconstructed white denim jacket that accentuates her blonde afro. 

  Photo courtesy of i-D

Photo courtesy of i-D

Solange has embraced a quieter style of dress. Although her stylistic choices have become more minimalistic they have not lost their impact.