FASHION Nicki Minaj of the pink hair and candy clothes is a head-turner

At the 40th Anniversary American Music Awards 2012 held in Los Angeles recently, Nicki Minaj was performing her single “Freedom”. On a snow-scaped stage, wearing a white fur coat, candyfloss hair, with lips to match, this was, as many dubbed, her “sexy Yeti” getup. She had a black mane while performing “Beauty and a Beat” with Justin Bieber. The same evening Minaj, blonde-headed, collected her award for favourite artiste in the Rap/ Hip Hop category. Her hair changes colour more often than a chameleon on a TV screen. Like her “Starships”, Minaj is meant to fly.

The rapper with the unreal waist-hip ratio rose to prominence two years ago with her debut album Pink Friday . Since then it’s been a succession of some very interesting wardrobe choices. Many see her following Lady Gaga’s footsteps. Maybe she does. However, Gaga’s style, despite the overt eccentricity that comes with it, has always come with an underlying, if occasionally hard-to-understand logic; it is high fashion at its avant garde best, exemplified by designers of choice like Thierry Mugler’s Nicola Formichetti. She turned into the muse she was because designers understood her understanding of and ability to transform a dress beyond the maker’s vision.

Nicki Minaj, on the other hand, relies on a brand of a put-together street look (even if it’s hardly that). If a conventionally pretty (though neon) Monique Lhuiller dress on the red carpet of the American Music Awards drew surprises, it was because it was so “un-her”. Minaj doesn’t appear to aspire for entry to “best-dressed” lists. She’s found it much easier to enter those of the worst turned out — recall the red Versace cape she wore to the Grammys earlier this year. Moments such as that, and worse, are waiting to come, and Minaj will have fun by poking fun.