A guide to Doja Cat’s surrealist personal style
Doja Cat is making fashion fun again with her daring, aliencore street style
image Team Woo
words Sophie Lou Wilson
When it comes to fashion, Doja Cat has never shied away from the experimental and avant-garde. Many celebs like to play it safe when it comes to red carpet dressing, opting for black dresses, refined tailoring and classical gowns. Doja Cat, on the other hand, is more likely to show up with feathers and cat ears sprouting from her head, or in a hyper-surrealist head-to-toe look by Thom Browne.
In August this year the musician entered a new era of eclectic style and beauty after debuting a shaved head and brows that pushed her into an even quirkier aesthetic sphere. Otherworldly eye makeup and cosplay-esque styling have transformed her into a cast of kooky characters. There’s no singular way to imitate her style. Its unpredictable nature is what makes her taste in fashion so alluring.
At last season’s New York and Paris Fashion Weeks, she revealed an aliencore twist on her personal style, typified by surrealist silhouettes, face and body paint, futuristic accessories and anarchic clashing prints. “My fashion week experience was so special because I was able to get the message across to people that I am an explorer of art and fashion,” Doja Cat told W Magazine. She worked with stylist Brett Alan Nelson to create six extreme looks that received a divided reaction, dancing the line between iconic and what some perceived as ugly. But, as Doja noted, the point wasn’t to look ‘good’, but to express her exploration of fashion and art.
As the fashion explorer celebrates her 27th birthday, here’s our guide to Doja Cat’s wildly creative, surrealist personal style.
From bizarre silhouettes and visual art-inspired prints, Doja Cat is no stranger to surrealist fashion. When it comes to designers, she’s drawn to fashion rebels who defy trends and conventional design in favour of exploring the wacky, weird and wonderful. She presented the 2021 VMA’s cocooned in wild colourful stripes that wrapped her up like a duvet, courtesy irreverent designer Thom Browne. Meanwhile, at New York Fashion Week this season, she rocked an angular pinstripe suit, the bold opening look from Viktor & Rolf’s AW22 collection. After all, why go for classic when you can go for uncanny?
We all have a friend who gets a little too into Halloween each year. Committed fans might start celebrating spooky season as September turns into October. Doja Cat, however, started when August was barely over, posting an Insta pic in a witch hat on 5 September with the caption, “happy halloween.” Since then, she’s posed in a skeleton hoodie, sexy goth nurse outfit and pumpkin bra. For Doja, Halloween isn’t a day, but a lifestyle, and she embraces gothic fashion all year round. Here, she wears a graphic emo-inspired mesh top from MINGA which you can shop below. We’re waiting with bated breath to see what she wears on the big day itself, but it’s sure to be fittingly outlandish.
Doja Cat is winning the avant-garde beauty game right now. Graphic eye makeup, experimental brows, smudged lipstick, grills and metallic body paint have propelled her aesthetic into intergalactic dimensions, making her beauty just as exciting as her style. When she shaved her hair and brows back in August, some fans reacted negatively, as though a woman would only ever shave her head as a cry for help. Doja hit back, saying she’d never “felt so fucking happy.” Since shaving her brows clean off, the musician has drawn on apples, smiley faces, hearts and flowers in their place. While shaved and bleached brows are becoming an increasingly widespread beauty trend, no one is doing it like Doja.
‘Weird girl’ maximalism
Bella Hadid has become the poster girl of the ‘weird girl aesthetic’, the maximalist trend coined by Twitter user @kaiageber earlier this year, but really Doja Cat should be the undisputed queen of the so-called ‘weird girl’ look. To attend Andreas Kronthaler’s Vivienne Westwood show in Paris earlier this month she wore what looked like a charity shop haul of richly layered prints and satiny skirts, accessorised with a matching headscarf and striped over-the-knee leg warmers. Here, more is definitely more.
Shirts that go hard
“I’d rather be eating ass,” says the t-shirt Doja Cat wore beneath a strapless gown to attend Marni’s SS23 show in New York. While most of the looks on this list aren’t exactly what you’d wear to pop to Sainsbury’s, this one is easy to imitate. If you don’t want to broadcast your ass eating habits to the world, you can always opt for a more low-key slogan. Another Doja fave states, “Not only am I funny.. (I have nice titties too!)”
Heaven by Marc Jacobs’ rave-themed rager was the most coveted invite at NYFW, not least because Doja Cat performed there. Heaven, Jacobs’ youthful Y2K emo-driven line, has built a reputation among fashion’s cool kids, with campaigns fronted by Doja Cat, Charli XCX, Sky Ferreira and Iris Law, to name a few. Their playful irreverent pieces, including gothic alien-like graphics and chunky knee-high Kiki boots, channel Doja Cat’s signature style from a more dressed-down point of view.
Back to the future
Doja Cat arrived at Balenciaga’s SS23 as though straight from a sci-fi street brawl – in the tussle for PFW’s best-dressed, Doja would win nearly every time. Bruised eye makeup and smudged lipstick accompanied her gothic ensemble of a Balenciaga x Adidas coat and futuristic shades. The provocative beauty look was chosen to reflect the toughness of Demna’s Balenciaga. Indeed, she couldn’t have predicted it much better as the show featured leathered-up models furiously stomping through a mud-drenched runway. Some of the first models even came out in nearly the exact same looks, proving that, when it comes to contemporary fashion, Doja has her finger firmly on the pulse.