How Lizzo's Team Turned Her Into a 'Ghetto Fabulous' Shirley MacLaine

How Lizzo's Team Turned Her Into a 'Ghetto Fabulous' Shirley MacLaine

Lizzo loved her Met Gala Marc Jacobs coat so much, she wore it to the airport immediately after the event. With bedazzled sunglasses on, a "Privacy Please" teddy bear in-hand, and bitchy ponytail (which she whipped side to side), the pop performer strutted her way through security and into the plane, stopping only to pose with a sign that read "UPPERCLASS." Makes sense.

At the 2019 Met Gala, Lizzo leaned into the night's Camp theme gloriously, wearing head to toe hot pink and tons of decadent feathers. Her look, designed in collaboration with Jacobs, was an homage to actress Shirley MacLaine in the 1964 rom-com What a Way to Go! Similar to MacLaine, Lizzo wore a fuchsia updo with jewels and slicked down baby hairs, as well as a sequin gown, complete with an Angelina Jolie-style slit.

On her quick rise to the top of pop, Lizzo's been leaning on a core team of creatives to achieve her custom looks. (You'll recall her incredible BCALLA piece for Coachella). There's Creative Director Quinn Wilson, Fashion Stylist Mark Monroe, Hair Stylist Shelby Swain ("The Beyoncé of Baby Hair), and Makeup Artist Alexx Mayo. For the Met Gala, Lizzo tapped Nail Artist Eri Ishizu to create her magenta, jeweled nails (Her hands and arms were also bejeweled).

With praise from Camp Experts like Michael Musto (writer/former club kid), Ladyfag (nightlife legend), Debi Mazar (actress), and Nicky Ottav (artist), PAPER caught up with the group behind Lizzo's acclaimed, aptly over-the-top Met Gala debut to learn how it all came together.

Lizzo & Marc Jcobs

How did Lizzo want to approach the Camp theme this year?

Mark Monroe: I don't think our approach to camp started this year, it's something we always try to incorporate in her aesthetic. Lizzo has a larger than life personality, so it attracts the campiness naturally, especially when we pay homage to what's come before in pop culture. "The juice ain't with the squeeze if the juice don't look like this," am I right?

Shelby Swain: It's crazy because we literally have been talking about the Met Gala forever with Lizzo — literally saying how bomb it would be if she was Marc Jacob's guest and looking forward to the day it will happen, not knowing our dream would turn into a reality shortly after. When Lizzo got the invite from Marc Jacobs and heard the theme was camp, she was like, "BITCH WE HAVE TO MAKE A STATEMENT!" The power of manifest is real.

You worked with Marc Jacobs to create this look. What was that process like?

Mark Monroe: Synchronicity is a wild thing. Early on in the year, Lizzo and I talked about how amazing it would be to have Marc Jacobs dress her for an event. We were just dreaming at the time because almost all high-end designer looks need to be made custom. That's a difficult thing to pull off for any new artist and stylist. Marc Jacobs saw Lizzo early on, not just as a fan using her music in some of his IG videos, but as a muse.

The initial conversation started off with Marc wanting to exaggerate Old Hollywood. We didn't really know what direction that would take, but Old Hollywood was already on our mood board from the beginning of the year. Lizzo's main emphasis was that she wanted to feel sexy, for her boobs to sit up right, and to be glamorous. But when he came back with sketches, we all felt on the same page.

Shelby Swain: Working with Marc Jacobs was fucking wild. First of all, MARC JACOBS and THE MET GALA is the ultimate dream. Marc Jacobs and his team were super amazing and we were literally on the same page for everything. When they handed us the mood board, I couldn't believe that they had the same references we had like, Bitch were you spying on us? But no, bad bitches think alike.

Alexx Mayo: It's amazing to see a creative visionary such as Marc and his team bring to life an idea. Using the fabric swatches and references really inspired what direction beauty went.

"Lizzo's main emphasis was that she wanted to feel sexy, for her boobs to sit up right, and to be glamorous."

You've all been working with Lizzo on creating her looks as of late. How do you all work together?

Mark Monroe: We bring our different perspectives together without the ego, and we just play and have fun.

Shelby Swain: Easy AF. Working with Lizzo is honestly a dream. She's such a visionary, and just an overall iconic bitch that believes in the bigger picture and believes in her team. She's created a team that can wear multiple hats — especially when it comes to the look. Like, I'm her hair stylist but she's totally open to any opinion I have when it comes to creative direction and does this with the whole team. There are no egos or set job titles, it's just team work and iconic looks only.

Alexx Mayo: Working with a team is crucial when everyone is on the same page and sees what the other sees. It's always a seamless vision with the team: style, hair, and makeup.

Is Lizzo really as fearless with her fashion as she seems?

Mark Monroe: Of course! If she's shinning, everybody's gonna shine — that's just how she rolls.

Shelby Swain:Lizzo is them most fearless person I know that always can serve a look no matter what. She could wear a coupon and be the baddest bitch in the room.

Alexx Mayo: She's 100% that bitch for a reason. Lizzo is open to creativity and style, and nothing is off limits.

"[Lizzo] could wear a coupon and be the baddest bitch in the room."

What were the conversations around Lizzo's beauty look? We loved the hair.

Mark Monroe: That is all the Beyoncé of Baby Hair, Shelby Swain, right there!

Shelby Swain: Honestly I've been watching What a Way to Go! starring Shirley MacLaine since I was a child. The bitch made all the statements in that one movie. For like the last year I've been talking to the team about this movie and showing "The Pink Look." Omg, that look was phenomenal... her pink hair was everything to me. I couldn't wait to get a chance to recreate that look. So when I found out about Lizzo going to this year's Camp Met Gala with Marc Jacobs and he wanted to her wear pink, shiiiiiiiiiit I knew what I had to do. I knew this was my chance to slay the Shirley MacLaine look in my ghetto fabulous way: a pink fingerwave updo with crystals.

Alexx Mayo: The Met Gala is the place to really take it there — a monochromatic pink statement.

Why pink?

Mark Monroe: Pink is the perfect color for the theme because It doesn't take itself too serious. Pink is flexible to be sexy, feminine, dramatic, sweet, bold, but never boring.

Shelby Swain: Why the fuck not? Pink is the ultimate bad bitch color.

Alexx Mayo: Pink is such a Camp color. What better way to pop on the carpet than that color on her skin?

Shirley MacLaine

Stream Lizzo's new album, Cuz I Love You, below, and follow her on Instagram (@lizzobeeating).

Lizzo photos via BFA / Shirley MacLaine photo via Getty