For the November 2011 cover of W magazine's "Art & Fashion Issue", Nicki Minaj is the cover girl and she is channeling her inner "18th Century" side. The cover was shot by photographer/artist Francesco Vezzoli and styled by Edward Enninful. Nicki is embodying the most famous courtesans in history. On the cover Nicki is wearing a strapless DIOR HAUTE COUTURE silk chiffon embroiered gown with a empire waist and tulle wrap. For this cover shot was she channeling the Rococo Portrait of Jeanne Bécu, Comtesse du Barry.
Here Nicki is wearing a WESTERN COMPANY COSTUME lace and silk brocade gown with bow detailing. She was posing a Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour. I just love how the whole idea behind this shot and how Nicki got into character.
Francesco Vezzoli on why he was interested in working with Nicki Minaj:
I wanted to play with the public image of a female hip-hop star. During my entire career, I have always been fascinated by powerful women in history. I have spent a lot of time researching the ways they were represented in art and how their images were used to mold the public imagination—and to convey aesthetic and philosophical ideas about beauty and sexual desire. My main interest has been to link the historical artistic approach to female representation to contemporary icons of the media era.
In her performances, Minaj makes very explicit and challenging use of her beauty and her body, so I thought of comparing her to some of the most famous courtesans in history: the Marquise de Montespan, Comtesse du Barry, Madame de Pompadour, andMadame 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. We tried to re-create those original portraits using similar furniture, props, and clothing, à la Visconti. Luckily enough, the result came out as surreal as it could.
To read Vezzoli's full interview, click here and continue to see more from Nicki's spread......
Here Nicki striked a pose as Madame Barbe de Rimsky-Korsakov wearing a VERA WANG off-the-shoulder garza and French tulle gown.
Posing as Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour in DIOR HAUTE COUTURE embroiered gown with a tulle wrap. Mastoloni 18k white gold, cultured pearl, and diamond bracelets; vintage MANOLO BLAHNIK shoes.
Here Nicki posed as Françoise Athénaïs de Rochechouart de Mortemart, Marquise de Montespan in a purple and gold DIOR HAUTE COUTURE. Saint Vintage brass and vintage Czech glass bead necklace (in hair); DAVID YURMAN 18k yellow gold and pearl necklace.