This Is How Nicki Minaj's MTV VMA Performance Look Came Together Last Minute

Nicki Minaj_Performing_VMAs - Getty - P 2018
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Stylist Brett Alan Nelson tapped Croatian designer Jurgan Zigman for the royal ensemble.

When it comes to styling Nicki Minaj for the stage and red carpet, Brett Alan Nelson always aims for "something that feels different from what everyone else is doing," he says.

So when it came to creating a look for the singer's performance at MTV's VMAs on Monday night, he turned to Juran Zigman, Croation designer of the eponymous brand.

But because Nelson is in the middle of a jam-packed press tour with Minaj to promote the singer's new album, there was a catch: They had less than a week to pull it all off.

"We really wanted Nicki to have a "Queen" moment," says Nelson, who, together with Zigman, worked on the royal-inspired ensemble.

The result: A look that's equal parts Egyptian and Victorian era, "mixed in with a little spice of Jamaican dancehall," says the stylist of the final look, featuring a cagelike golden bodice and matching boots, accentuated with jewelry by Messika Paris. "I wanted it to feel sexual."

Zigman whipped up the look in 48 hours and shipped it to New York, where it arrived in the nick(i) of time, on the morning of the show.

Was Nelson nervous? "Every job I'm always nervous and scared," laughs the stylist, who points out that the awards show marks his one-year anniversary of working with Minaj. "It makes me work harder."