Zara Larsson’s Stylist Talks About Her ‘Museum Piece’ VMAs Dress: Exclusive

This article originally appeared in the Sept. 3 issue of Billboard, by



Though Zara Larsson didn’t wind up getting a Moonman in the Best New Artist category at last night’s VMAs (Aug. 28), she certainly made an impression in the style department. For her first trip to the awards show, the 18-year-old wore a vintage velour Thierry Mugler sweetheart dress in a striking shade of green, black peep-toe heels, and matching emerald and diamond jewelry.

Billboard spoke exclusively with celebrity stylist Marcus Paul, who also works with Desiigner, Pusha T and Jay Z about Larsson’s vintage “museum-worthy” dress.

You’ve styled Zara for four months now. How has her approach to fashion changed since working together?

Zara has her own style and when we work together, it’s a collaboration. She knows what she likes, and she’ll tell you if she doesn’t like something. For the VMAs there were so many great options — that’s a good problem to have.

Tell us about the inspiration for Zara’s VMA look.

We wanted to make a statement, which is something we discussed with the team. She had great options; I won’t lie, I scoured the ends of the earth to find the right piece. It was down to 3 pieces, and this was the one that made the final cut. She loved it. It was instant. When we tried it on, it fit like a glove.

What about the other options?

One was a Saint Laurent runway;  a mini skirt with sequins paired with a black structured blazer. It was truly amazing but it didn’t make the cut. And we had another beautiful piece from an independent designer in London.


Tell us about this dress.

The dress is vintage Mugler velour from 1990, and it has never been worn on the carpet before. I got it from New York Vintage, this very special place in Manhattan full of archived vintage pieces. If you know Thierry Mugler, he’s one of the great designers of this era, and certainly one of the better designers out of France — on the level of people like Karl Lagerfeld and Alexander McQueen.

Walk us through the rest of her outfit.

For accessories, she wore emerald diamond earrings and a very beautiful set of rings, all by Lorraine Schwartz. She didn’t need a lot of jewelry, because the focus was on the dress. It’s beautiful — a museum piece, to be honest with you.

What do you mean by museum piece?

This is a piece that has been in the museum. The Indianapolis Museum of Art had it on display, although I couldn’t tell you the exact timing. It is a collector’s item — nothing that is readily available.

What about her shoes?

Black suede platform sandals from Charlotte Olympia. They have a very architectural heel with multicolored shapes on them; truly beautiful.