The Insane Gas Station And Bicycle Pump Story Behind Missy Elliott's Iconic 'The Rain' Suit
June Ambrose - Yes, Girl Podcast
This week’s Yes, Girl! podcast was all about the behind-the-scenes genius of June Ambrose. To say the woman has styled for hip-hop artists would be a huge understatement, as she literally created the visual manifestation of what the genre was in the 1990s and early 2000s.
She talked to ESSENCE about working with DMX, Hype Williams, Lauryn Hill and Missy Elliott —who celebrates the 20th anniversary of her Supa Dupa Fly album this year.
“The whole blow-up suit thing was described as a Michelin Man,” Ambrose said about Elliott’s iconic black suit from “The Rain” music video.
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“And Hype [Williams] had found these really cool, fire glasses in an archive of Alain Mikli and I wanted to build around that. But the obstacle was building that suit. I have never built an inflatable suit before. So it was just… the dynamics of having to costume design that inner-tube, and finding the right contractor to construct it, and keep it inflated. So that day, I had a bicycle pump and we took her to the gas station —looking like a floppy garbage bag— we blew her up and walked her back. When we got in the studio —we shot this in Long Island City, NY in a big sound stage— we got her on set, started filming and the suit starts to deflate.”
Adding, “So I got behind her with the bicycle pump, and the entire video I’m there with the bicycle pump. As the suit was deflating, I was pumping it back up.”
Who knew?! But you’ve got to love the ingenuity.
Hear more of Ambrose’s iconic styling stories and what she’s currently working on in the latest Yes, Girl! episode. Subscribe (for free) to hear all of amazing podcasts.