Following a rather feisty, sex kitten US Cosmopolitan cover,  Nicki Minaj serves an unexpected but beautiful cover for W Magazine’s November Art Issue. The reigning queen of rap has been transformed into a powdered 18th-century courtesan by the hands of famed artist Francesco Vezzoli who has worked with the likes of Lady Gaga, Cate Blanchett, Michelle Williams, Gore Vidal, and Natalie Portman.

Now working with Nicki Minaj,Vezzoli wanted to subvert the  public image of a female hip-hop star and in the imagery that follows, it is clear to see how the artist has channelled away from Minaj’s typical visual presentations, but still conveyed the surreal beauty, power and desire the rap star embodies.

“I thought of comparing her to some of the most famous courtesans in history: the Marquise de ­Montespan, Comtesse du Barry, Madame de Pompadour, and ­Madame Rimsky-­Korsakov. My idea was to reproduce four iconic portraits of some of the most fascinating females of the past in a series starring an American pop-culture role model.”

Styled by the best in the business Edward Enninful, Minaj (in no cartoon wigs and colours) wears an exquisite Dior Haute Couture, silk chiffon, embroidered dress for the cover and in following portraits wears a lace and silk brocade dress from Western Costume Company and vintage Manolo Blahnik shoes to a Vera Wang garza and French tulle ball gown.

What do you think about Nicki Minaj’s Neo-Rococo transformation for W Magazine?


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