10 Music Videos That Made a Strong Style Statement in 2016

3:22 PM 12/20/2016

by Stephanie Chan

From Beyonce's "Formation" to Adele's "Send My Love (to Your New Lover)," these visual clips slayed.

Beyonce - Formation_Still - H 2016

Beyonce - Formation_Still - H 2016

  • "Send My Love (to Your New Lover)" by Adele

    Much like the one Burberry dress she wore throughout her world tour, Adele's music video for "Send My Love (to Your New Lover)," directed by Patrick Daughters, only required one standout outfit too. Dressed by longtime stylist Gaelle Paul, the Grammy award winner stood out in a floral Dolce & Gabbana gown. 

    "It was really about what he needed from the dress," said Paul of working with Adele to follow the director's lead. "It was quite dark, the background, and we needed something that would show up against that." Paul added of the D&G dress: "It's so on trend: the flow-y elevated hippie kind of thing that has been going for three to four seasons now."

  • "Work" by Rihanna feat. Drake

    Rihanna brought her fashion A-game in the "Work" music video, with the first half helmed by Director X. During the first three minutes or so, RiRi takes us to Toronto's Caribbean restaurant The Real Jerk, where she's styled by Anna Trevelyan in a slinky net dress and matching crochet bikini that Tommy Hilfiger designed for his spring collection after being inspired by his visits to Mustique.

    The second half of the video, directed by Tim Erem and styled by Mel Ottenberg, sees RiRi in a sheer, nipple-revealing vintage top, a skirt sourced from What Goes Around Comes Around, and glittery Maison Margiela peep-toe sandals.

    Once again, RiRi followed her own fashion playbook and incorporated two different styles for the same song.

  • "This Is What You Came For" by Calvin Harris feat. Rihanna

    What we came here for was Rihanna's sparkly, oversized number in Calvin Harris' music video for "That Is What You Came For," directed by Emil Nava.

    Instead of pulling from established designers, stylist Mel Ottenberg looked to Brooklyn-based designer Isabel Hall's Pratt Institute graduation collection and proved, once again, that RiRi is all about supporting up-and-coming fashion creatives.

    "I saw Isabel Hall's jumpsuit at the Pratt fashion show, and it was a no brainer that I would use it for something," Ottenberg told WWD. "I love it. It's got a slight Stephen Sprouse, Debbie Harry '70s vibe, yet it’s totally modern and cool." Added Hall on Instagram: "Could not have been a better person to wear it!!"

  • "Cranes in the Sky" by Solange

    When Solange Knowles released her album, A Seat at the Table, she had an artistic vision to match her new soulful sound.

    For the "Cranes in the Sky" music video, directed by Knowles and her husband, director Alan Ferguson, the singer worked with stylist Shiona Turini to come up with the wardobe. (Turini also worked with Knowles on the "Don't Touch My Hair" music video.)

    "It was really important for her that the visuals made black women and men look regal and majestic. She wanted the women, especially, to show sisterhood," Turini told The New York Times. "So there was a lot of uniformity and making sure that everything matched, what I like to call twinning." One of these uniforms included a pastel purple, connecting dress that was designed by Solange's mom, Tina Lawson, and a seamstress.

  • "Ain't Your Mama" by Jennifer Lopez

    Jennifer Lopez may have worn several designer digs (including a Thierry Mugler skirt suit and Louis Vuitton heels) in the "Ain't Your Mama" music video, directed by Cameron Duddy, but the one standout piece was the belted thigh-high denim boots designed by Rihanna as part of her collaboration with Manolo Blahnik

    The "9 to 5" boots were gifted by Rihanna, who wrote in a note, "Because I know you're gonna wear them better than me!!!" Perhaps we'll see RiRi return the favor in the future by sporting one of J.Lo's designs for her Giuseppe Zanotti collaboration.

  • "NO" by Meghan Trainor

    Meghan Trainor traded her favorite pastel hues seen in the "All About That Bass" and "Lips Are Movin" music videos for a darker vibe in "NO."

    "Meghan wanted to keep the looks darker and sexier to match the mood of the song, which was something new for her," stylist Maya Krispin told THR. "Meghan also wanted to create something very different to her past videos. There were definitely '90s pop vibes involved."

    The clip, directed by Fatima Robinson and Barnaby Roper, sees the pop star bust a move in a metallic gold coat by Isabel Marant, a black sequined Veronica Beard blazer and a custom crimson look by Michael Costello. The rest of the ensembles (including the black jumpsuit with the bedazzled bra and the fishnet bodysuit) were custom designed by Krispin.

  • "M.I.L.F.$" by Fergie

    To match "M.I.L.F.$'s" provocative lyrics, Fergie tapped stylist extraordinaire B. Akerlund for the music video's seductive wardrobe.

    "Fergie and I had a very specific vision on how we saw the M.I.L.F. world and especially on how would she lead the pack. Almost everything in the video was custom-made," B. Akerlund told THR of dressing Fergie, as well as a number of hot and famous moms including Kim Kardashian, Chrissy Teigen and Ciara, in the video directed by Colin Tilley.

    Added the fashion activist: "I worked together with different latex designers including Atsuko Kudo and Venus Prototype, who made several of the costumes for the video. There was something that attracted me to mixing latex and diamonds, as well as the use of color, to help create a world where women ruled and there was no limit to what you can do."

  • "24K Magic" by Bruno Mars

    Bruno Mars dropped his first new single solo in four years when he debuted "24K Magic" in October, and of course, he had the glitziest music video to match.

    The clip — directed by Mars and his frequent collaborator Cameron Dudd — sees the performer clad in Versace designs, from vintage shirts at the club to silk pajamas at the hotel. Mars is no stranger to the Italian fashion house helmed by Donatella Versace; he's previously worn Versace at Super Bowl 50's halftime show and accepted the award for Best Male Video at the 2015 MTV VMAs for "Uptown Funk" with Mark Ronson. The singer even has a song with the label in the title ("Versace on the Floor," anyone?).

    As Mars says, "I'm a dangerous man with some money in my pocket," and he isn't afraid to flaunt it with Versace in this video.

  • "Formation" by Beyonce

    Beyonce surprised fans with the "Formation" music video in February and wore a bevy of designer pieces fit for a royal pop star like her.

    In the video, directed by Melina Matsoukas, Queen Bey is seen wearing a custom Gucci crop top and matching high-waisted shorts, Rosie Assoulin bodysuitFendi fur, Alessandra Rich lace dress and more. Given the amount of wardrobe changes, it's no surprise that the project required 36 stylists, under the direction of lead stylist Marni Senofonte, to make it one of the most buzzed-about music videos of the year.

  • "Kill v. Maim" by Grimes

    If Grimes' single, "Kill V. Maim," reminds you of Harley Quinn, it's no accident. ("Like with [this song, it has] a Harley Quinn kind of vibe —this Joker-y, scary demon chorus," the pop star has previously said.)

    Perhaps that's why the music video, directed by Grimes (nee Claire Boucher) and brother Mac Boucher, feels just as intense, colorful and over-the-top as the DC Comics villian. (Think a Versace sweater paired with feathered wings, pink boxing gloves and ski goggles.)