As you're probably well aware at this point, Iggy Azalea has an admirably honest, DGAF approach to things, whether that concerns plastic surgery or engagement ring politics, and her style choices are just as bold. We rang up her longtime stylist, Alejandra Hernandez, to learn more about what it's like to dress Azalea for a never-boring mix of red carpets and music videos; most recently, the duo worked on Azalea's "Mo Bounce" video. (In addition to working with the Aussie star, Hernandez is currently working on her own activewear line.) Ahead, Hernandez fills us in on Azalea's consistently outré style sensibility, and how the music video is still a really meaningful medium from a fashion perspective.
How did you start working with Iggy?
"We met in a 7-Eleven, actually. It was just after I had seen the 'PU$$Y' video online, and I was like, 'Who the heck is this girl, this blonde bombshell, and where did she come from?!" I didn't even realize that Iggy was Australian. My boyfriend at the time had started directing music videos; he found her manager's information, and asked to make a music video for Iggy. I styled it, and Iggy and I have been working together ever since; it's been a crazy six years!"
How does your job as stylist change over the years when you start working a client before they're really famous?
"In the beginning, I just didn't even bother with the top people, because I knew they wouldn't be willing to lend. I pulled as many favors as I could, but it was hard. I had to get creative and resourceful to make her look cool and unusual early on. Once Iggy started getting press from places like V and Paper, people started to pay attention to who she was, and it got a lot easier to style her."
What's your favorite look you've ever styled Iggy in?
"A couple months ago, when Iggy was being honored as Australian GQ 's Woman Of The Year, she wore literally $4 million worth of diamonds around her neck, this insane Bulgari snake necklace, with no shirt and a fancy black suit [shown above]. It was scandalous but just classic enough, and that's sort of the perfect way to describe Iggy's style. She doesn't like to be too out there, and there's always a classic element of some sort, but, yes, she definitely is out there. When I look back at some of the looks we've done over the years, I'm sort of like, 'What were we thinking?!' but it made sense at the time."
You've worked on all of Iggy's videos since 2011; are there any unique considerations when you're styling music videos, versus red carpet appearances?
"With music videos, there are no rules! It's more about fantasy. Like in the 'Mo Bounce' video, for example, she's wearing pink fishnets and a crazy, hot pink swimsuit. Who would wear that in real life? So it's fun; it's things that aren't realistic. I prefer styling music videos to carpets, actually."
Tell us more about that "Mo Bounce" video.
"We shot it in Hong Kong; Iggy was there to headline a festival, and thought it'd be cool to stay a few extra days and film the video. It totally worked: 'Mo Bounce' is such a colorful, wacky, club-y, crazy song, so Hong Kong was perfect, and we just really took it there fashion-wise. We wanted to show the girls in these vibrant, fake designer outfits with their butts bouncing up and down. The glow-in-the-dark part of the video was so fun to shoot, too."
What's the story behind that patch Iggy wears on her jean shorts that reads "My pussy grabs back"?
"Iggy really, really wanted that in the video; it was important to her. She stays away from making [political] statements, and she's not someone that people go to to talk about what's going on politically. But she is a feminist in her own way, and I think this was her way of saying 'hey, girls, I'm with you' without having to actually say anything. Since she was working on the song with Lil Internet, who's the most anti-Trump person, ever, so she knew he would get a kick out of that. He did! He was like, 'we're definitely putting that in the video.' She found it somewhere on Etsy. I'm using that patch and a bunch of others on a pair of boots that I have yet to make for Iggy, which she'll be wearing on tour."
Music videos were arguably more prominent pre-aughts, when MTV and VH1 played them constantly and TRL was essential after-school viewing. Why do you think they're are still relevant? And why are they important fashion-wise?
"I think they really create moments for fans to connect to artists; that's what stands out in peoples' minds forever. That, and VMAs performances: I think that event is so important in terms of artists' outfits that are really memorable. Iggy loves making videos, and it means something to her in terms of her style. I grew up in the '90s, so I've memorized every outfit in every video; I'm obsessed. That Alice & Wonderland- themed Tom Petty video, 'Don't Come Around Here No More'; 'Papa Don't Preach,' and Britney Spears' 'Oops...I Did It Again,' are some of my favorite, favorite videos. Oh, and and any Missy Elliott video. They're the best."
How has Iggy's style evolved while you've been working with her?
"Iggy has openly talked about how she's gotten her boobs done, and before then, she always wanted to wear really tight clothing because it made her feel more feminine. It's also age: I met her when she was 21, and she's turning 27 this year. With age, things change style-wise sometimes, and I notice that with Iggy. I feel like she's my little sister that I've watched grow up. There are things I wear that, in the past, she never would've worn when I first met her, and now she's interested in those things. I'm like 'Okay, I see you!' [Laughs] "
After working together for years, does Iggy ever surprise you with her outfits?
"Sometimes I'll meet up with Iggy and she'll be in a full equestrian outfit, with riding boots and everything. It's hilarious."
Has being a stylist changed your personal style?
"It's probably given me the ability to shop without trying anything on. I hate trying clothes on. I sold vintage for so many years, and when I was an assistant to a stylist in college, she taught me the trick of wrapping the waistband around your neck to check if it'll fit your waist. It really works, you should try it! With sleeves, I always try to make sure it fits right at the armpit. Also, when stripes don't match up at the seams: that's a total pet peeve of mine. It's a mess on camera, and I don't like it in regular life; it means something's cheaply made, and it drives me crazy."
What are your favorite new label discoveries over the past few months?
There's this Korean label, Hyein Seo, that's really, really cool. There's also this line out of the U.K., Craig Green; Iggy's worn a lot of his designs."
Like what you see? How about some more R29 goodness, right here?