Keri Hilson has set herself apart from the pack of other R&B singers with her ever-changing hairstyles and sexy, retro/glam fashion sense (that girl’s got legs and she knows how to use ’em…damn, I am so jealous, haha!). So, I wanted to know how this pretty young thing gets her look together for the Grammys. One thing Ms. Keri knows is that great hairstyles are powerful envelope pushers, so I reached out to her hairstylist, Maisha Oliver, first. IMAN: Do clothes determine the hair, or vice versa? MAISHA OLIVER: Clothes always determine what the overall look is going to be. Hair and make-up have to compliment the clothes. If the look is futuristic then you have to be able to carry out a futuristic look. IMAN: What was your inspiration for Keri’s Grammy’s hairstyle? MAISHA OLIVER: I wanted to create a style that was elegant but still had that Keri flare. I also wanted to make sure that she was recognizable on the red carpet. Plus, she’s wearing her hair short these days, so I wanted to add some glamour to her cut.
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Next, I caught up with her makeup artist, Ashunta Sheriff. She told me that, for her, the Grammys represent the creme de la creme of musicians, so being quirky, funky, edgy, or just straight glam are all acceptable.
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Of course, a girl can’t attend an event with great hair and makeup, but no outfit!  So, I asked Keri’s stylist, Mariel Haenn, how she went about choosing a gown for Keri’s big red carpet moment–and most importantly, which came first, the hair or the dress?  When Mariel emailed me on Sunday morning at 5 am West Coast time (the morning of the Grammys), they still hadn’t locked in an outfit yet!  The pressure was on, but she still took a moment to chat with me.   IMAN: What criteria should the dress have? MARIEL HAENN: The dress should definitely have that memorable moment/statement factor.  Whether it’s fit, color, or silhouette, something about the dress has to pop. IMAN: Is choosing the dress really about a gut feeling, or is it a group decision that includes the hair and makeup team? MARIEL HAENN:  It’s a combination of gut feeling, experience and talking out the pros and cons to figure out the statement we are trying to make. IMAN: What were you and Keri going for with her Grammys gown? MARIEL HAENN:  We wanted to go for a classic, timeless look that will be remembered as her “breakthrough moment” in fashion.  In her Dolce & Gabanna gown and Neil Lane jewelry, Keri’s final red carpet reveal was a classically beautiful and elegant moment.  Mission accomplished!  You go, girl! Read more: