Like most women of a certain age, Adele’s penchant for high waistlines has managed to temper her enthusiasm for just about every fashion trend. But the award-winning singer-songwriter took a major shift this week when she wore an outfit to the Black Panther premiere in New York that looked a lot like a stretch-figure pant.
Adele is now older than we once considered a woman to be (51), and in the rare occasion that the “Hello” singer’s fearless fashion-forwardness is on display, it tends to go over our heads. But her Zara dress proved what we already knew: She has some serious chutzpah when it comes to haute couture.
Before you dismiss Adele’s silk outfit as nothing more than a silly fashion moment, consider that when a woman speaks up for women to break out of their comfort zones, it often means the world. In her interview with Oprah Winfrey for the series Where Are They Now?, Adele spoke about the difficulty some women still have in speaking out against harassment and the lack of diversity in Hollywood. She’s also one of the first women of color to win the Best Original Song prize at the Oscars, so the former child star clearly had an influential effect on how Hollywood functions.
Gina Rattray, a writer who runs Ebonymag.com, believes that it’s because of this unique story that Adele’s fashion choice gained such attention. “Adele for her forthright answers at the BWC premiere,” Rattray said, referencing the “Black Panther” New York premiere and the honor of gracing the cover of the new Ebony magazine. “She spoke some truth, and her pantsuit made sure that her voice was heard.”
The shade-happy Kardashians, whose signature style was born during Adele’s early years in the spotlight, clearly recognize the singer’s value to the African-American woman. The two families have a history of political support, recently being twinned in a power-from-your-suburb aesthetic for Neiman Marcus’ Black Summer campaign. Given the fashion impact Adele’s pantsuit made and the gold sequined coat she wore for the BWC premiere, does it matter if she’s a woman of color or middle-aged? The answer is likely yes. And we should be grateful that Adele is letting us appreciate what makes her so fantastic.