Billie Eilish is the Cover Girl for British Vogue’s June issue.
Billie Eilish wants you to know she is in charge, brash, and self-assured enough to scrap the raffish image that helped garner her a world of fans in favor of something a little more … adult.
She vamps this month on the cover of British Vogue, a portrait of artfully crafted provocation. The singer once identified by her shock of green hair has gone blonde and full bombshell, swapping her trademark sweats for a style more domme than deb: pink Gucci corset and skirt over Agent Provocateur skivvies, accessorized with latex gloves and leggings.
Billy Eilish Covers British Vogue
The choice was her own, Edward Enninful, the magazine’s editor in chief, wrote in the June issue. “What if, she wondered, she wanted to show more of her body for the first time in a fashion story?” Mr. Enninful recalled. “What if she wanted to play with corsetry and revel in the aesthetic of the mid-20th century pin-ups she’s always loved? It was time, she said, for something new.”
To that end Ms. Eilish embraced the shopworn trimmings of female allure, offering the camera, without apparent irony, a nod to the sirens of golden age Hollywood and some of the more recent vintage: Taylor Swift, Cardi B, and Megan Thee Stallion among them.
And she is owning her look. An icon of body positivity who once cloaked her curves under neon tone tracksuits and hoodies, she appears to be done with all that. “My thing is that I can do whatever I want,” she told the journalist Laura Snapes, going on to disarm would-be haters with a pre-emptive strike.
“Suddenly you’re a hypocrite if you want to show your skin, and you’re easy and you’re a slut,” Ms. Eilish said in the interview. “Let’s turn it around and be empowered in that. Showing your body and showing your skin — or not — should not take any respect away from you.”
Ms. Eilish seems similarly inclined to present her metamorphosis as a shrewdly brazen, self-determined update. Some fans are cheering. “She looks just as awesome now as she did in oversized clothing,” Karin Ann Trabelssie, a 19-year-old student from Jelina, in Slovakia, said via text. Like Ms. Eilish, she once evaded scrutiny, hiding a frame she described as curvy under baggy shirts and trousers. Exultant at her idol’s new image, she wrote, “I very rarely see anyone with a similar body type to me do something like this. It’s empowering.”
Others feel betrayed. “Before: unique, different, a class of her own,” Stewie @jetztissesraus posted, on Twitter. “After mainstream, exchangeable, slick, and polished. Why?”
That question was bound to arise. In an earlier phase of her career, Ms. Eilish could claim the distinction of being a one-off. A stylish, she insisted, had no place in her life. “I could easily just be like, you know what, you’re going to pick out my clothes, someone else will come up with my video treatments, someone else will direct them and I won’t have anything to do with them,” she said in a profile in The New York Times. “But I’m not that kind of person and I’m not that kind of artist.”
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