Björk, a musical genius who has been famous in her native Iceland since she was 11 years old, has long been one of the most provocative style stars in pop culture, a risk-taker who has worked with couture icons and up-and-comers alike. Whether she’s sporting a neon facial sculpture or sweetly rocking a giant white bird, the artist—who has just released her new album Vulnicura Live—always surprises. Here's a look back at some of her wildest sartorial moments.
Björk made her face the canvas for her 1997 video “Hunter,” starting off bald and slowly transforming into a cosmic bear. Maybe Amber Rose didn’t start that trend after all?
She worked with director Chris Cunningham two years later to morph into a (sexy!) robot for her “All is Full of Love” video, which still feels futuristic all these years later.
It takes a lot to steal the scene on the Oscars red carpet, but all anyone could talk about in 2001 was Björk’s incredible fluffy swan dress by Macedonian designer Marjan Pejoski, who operates his Kokon To Zai lifestyle stores in London and Paris. Famously parodied later by Ellen Degeneres, the original even came with an egg!
Her red carpet takeover continued in England at the Prince’s Trust’s Fashion Rocks benefit when she showed up with late fashion hero Alexander McQueen in a black-velvet-and-feather stunner and a full-face mask of crystals.
Who can forget Björk’s massive dress at the 2004 Olympics in Athens? Greek designer Sophia Kokosalaki designed a map of the world on its massive train made from 30,000 square feet of fabric.
The train was majestically unfurled from her toes and carried over 20,000 international athletes on the field. Is there a gold medal for fashion design?
Björk went through a big wig phase in 2011, donning red mega-Afros during her Biophilia live shows. But the multicolored number in which she accepted her 2012 Webby Award for Artist of the Year is a standout for unexpected hues and original shape.
Björk recently performed as a DJ in Australia and Japan wearing a glowing facial sculpture by James Merry, who has been designing cranial flair for her since 2009.
Their most spectacular collaboration to date, though, has to be the embroidered headpiece that she wore to perform at the 2015 Governors Ball Music Festival in New York City. She showed him beautiful pictures of moths for inspiration. “I loved their pronged fern-like white antennae most, so [I] began embroidering those, and it slowly turned into some sort of techno-Victorian-moth mask,” Merry told i-D.
She showed up to the Tokyo stop of her recent Björk Digital tour wearing a 3D printed Rottlace mask. Several pieces based on the internal structure of the bones and tissue in her face were created by MIT professor and designer Neri Oxman.
Maiko Takeda, a Japanese designer who currently creates accessories for Issey Miyake, created the spiky headpieces for the Vulnicura album art and the live tour that’s captured on Björk’s new album. It’s easy to envision her walking on the moon with these shimmering head halos. After all, her style clearly comes from above, somewhere outside this galaxy.
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