Cardi on the Half-Shell—and off IG: Behind-the-Scenes Scoop on How the 'Money' Maker Made Magic with Mugler

Cardi B attends the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Cardi B attends the 61st Annual GRAMMY Awards at Staples Center on February 10, 2019 in Los Angeles, California.
Photo: Rich Fury (Getty Images for The Recording Academy)

It was the statement dress that set the tone for a history-making night, and just the first of many designs by Mugler worn by Cardi B on Sunday, as she conquered the red carpet, the stage, and the Best Rap Album category at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards.


Appearing on the red carpet in an illusion gown inspired by the famed Botticelli painting Venus on the Half-Shell and chosen from Mugler’s Fall 1995 collection, Cardi carried the virtual torch passed by fellow winner and red carpet renegade Lady Gaga, whom she’d later meet inside.

But how did stylist Kollin Carter come up with Cardi’s unforgettable array of outfits for the evening? Vogue followed the fashion guru to Paris to choose looks from Mugler’s archives, bringing us and several couture options back to Los Angeles, where we see how the looks and the performance took shape. It’s a fascinating peek behind the scenes at the process of creating iconic moments, as well as a testament to the village and tremendous collective talent it takes to help create and maintain a superstar (designers, and choreographers, and glam squads, oh my!).

And of course, even amidst the glamour, there’s that trademark bawdy Cardi humor. After watching this, we promise you’ll never look at condoms the same again.


Of course, this is also a video you may want to cherish since it could be the last candid glimpse we get of Cardi for awhile. After a particularly nasty wave of bullying and backlash following her unprecedented win on Sunday, Cardi made good on her long-standing threat to deactivate her Instagram account—but not before addressing the issue in her customarily unfiltered style, via a now-deleted post.

“I been taking a lot of shit today, I’m seeing a lot of bullshit today and I saw a lot of shit last night,” she said. “And I’m sick of this shit. I worked hard for my motherfuckin’ album.”

Indeed. Like another female phenom we know, Cardi recorded the triumph that was Invasion of Privacy while expecting her first child, a fact she once again reminded her audience. She also called out the fickleness often projected onto artists—and female artists, in particular. (It’s worth noting that congratulations from no less than Missy Elliott, Lil’ Kim, Salt ‘n’ Pepa, Remy Ma and many more greeted Cardi on her still-active Twitter account.)


“I remember last year when I didn’t win for ‘Bodak Yellow,’ everybody was like, ‘Cardi got snubbed, Cardi got snubbed,’ ” she said. “Now this year’s a fuckin’ problem?”

Girl, take your moment and enjoy it, along with your baby. Any true fan believes you’re worth the wait.

Maiysha Kai is Managing Editor of The Glow Up, co-host of The Root Presents: It's Lit! podcast, and your average Grammy-nominated goddess next door...May I borrow some sugar?



I’m old and listen to Miles and Dizzy but Ms. Cardi is major fabulous and she is right, she doesn’t deserve the hate. I saw some headline that her designer plagiarized the look so thank you for clarifying that. Cardi Venus was surrounded by of all kinds of art and fashion history symbolism but people gotta hate. If they get in your way Ms. Cardi, just keep walking forward. The haters will move aside and the fools will get poked by a 6 inch stiletto.