Kelela is the mysterious R&B songstress from the DMV (Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia area) whose genre-melding sound has ushered in a new wave of musical possibilities. Known for pushing boundaries with her personal style as well, the Ethiopian-American beauty serves up a dreadlocked, half-shaven do and avant-garde sartorial choices that have earned her trendsetter status. Mischa Notcutt, a London-based stylist and creative director, is the mastermind behind Kelela’s ultramodern fits.

Kelela is a Matrix, Fifth Element futuristic deity, and we always like to keep an element of that in her styling.”

—MISCHA NOTCUTT , STYLIST

From a disco ball–inspired Met Gala look to a Coachella cowgirl ensemble, some awe-inspiring moments have come from the stylist-star duo. “Kelela is a Matrix, Fifth Element futuristic deity,” says Notcutt, “and we always like to keep an element of that in her styling.” ESSENCE caught up with the fashion maven, who spilled the secrets to their magical partnership.

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