Kacey Musgraves' Caped Blazer Look Has Us Rethinking All of Our Holiday Party

With one of the most celebrated albums of 2018, Kacey Musgraves’ star has never been brighter. The 30-year-old singer-songwriter has continued to transcend genres with her most recent album, Golden Hour, producing hits that pack country vibes yet mainstream appeal. She was just nominated for four Grammys, including the most prestigious Album of the Year category.

Given her recent success, it was no surprise that Musgraves was one of the top ladies honored at last night’s star-studded Billboard Women in Music event. After taking the stage to perform her song “Butterflies” at the awards ceremony, which was presented with Fiji Water in New York City, Musgraves accepted the night’s Innovator Award. In her heartfelt speech, she expressed her gratitude for the collective voice of strong women. “The female perspective is so important,” said Musgraves. “I feel really hopeful and proud about the state of the modern woman. Her bravery, her unapologetic celebration of rights, her life, her mind, and her art. And definitely, most of all, her realness. And I’ve been craving realness for so long.”

We got an extra real look at Musgraves’ night, courtesy of the star’s stylist, Erica Cloud. The duo worked closely to put together not one, but two show-stopping looks for the occasion: a belted Brandon Maxwell skirt suit for the red carpet and a dazzling Michael Kors dress for her performance. “Instead of doing something crazy, we wanted to stay true to who Kacey is— because to me, that’s a real innovator,” Cloud tells InStyle. “Kacey has never been someone who necessarily follows the rules or listens to what people want to dictate for her. She’s extremely smart, and she just follows her gut and does her own thing.”

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The pair ultimately decided on a “clean and strong” all-white palette for the night. “We’re not pushing her in a genre, but if you think about the history of country music, it’s pretty classic and very timeless — and that’s what Kacey is, as well,” says Cloud. “Country isn’t just all sequins and rhinestones. Also, Kacey is a beautiful woman. She doesn’t need anything to distract!”

Cloud documented Musgraves’ night with an exclusive photo diary for InStyle. Keep reading for a behind-the-scenes look.

Outfit #1

“Brandon [Maxwell] does a clean and strong look so well,” says Cloud. “Plus, he’s from East Texas and so is Kacey, which is pretty cool. In his own journey from stylist to designer and all of these things, he’s pretty innovative and such an advocate for women. We thought it was the perfect little combo. This blazer has a really strong shoulder, and a capelet on top of it.”

The Accessories

“With the Brandon Maxwell look, she wore white Louboutins. The dress wasn’t totally matte — it had a little bit of a sheen to it, so I didn’t want to do patent or satin. We had so many options on hand, but these were the perfect soft leather.”

“I just loved that the hardware on the belt matched the earrings, which were Tiffany & Co. It’s always kind of fun to be in New York and do Tiffany! And a little nerd fact is that we chose this embossed cream Edie Parker clutch because the hardware on the clutch matched the hardware on the earrings. I love details like that, and I know nobody ever really sees them — but I know. Because she had the deep-V neckline, we kept with the long lines for the earrings, too.”

Buckled Up

“This belt is also Brandon Maxwell, and it has a ‘B’ on it. It’s got elastic in it, so it stretches all the way around and really helps cinch the waist. I like that it wasn’t a leather belt — it’s cool how his more modern accessories take a look to a different place.”

White Hot

“The look for the night was winter white. We just did a black Versace look for the CMAs, so we went to the complete flipside. It just seemed right, at the beginning of December. And since she was all covered wearing a pantsuit at the CMAs, we thought, ‘OK, let’s show a little skin this time around.’”

“Kacey really loved the sleeve on this look, because it wasn’t crazy overwhelming but it had that capelet effect. Again, I think he sees that blend where she’s modern but still keeps it femme.”

Quick Change Artist

“The whole getting ready process is about two hours. So after we got there and she did the red carpet, she was done at 7:55. But the show was starting at 8, and she had to go on at 8:07. I just had everything ready and waiting. Undid one and zip up the other one. At the CMAs, we had to do a change in two minutes, so this was like a walk in the park. We’re a well-oiled machine at this point.”

Outfit #2

“The second look is Michael Kors, who is also a very strong advocate for women. The sleeve is so pretty, and it had a little bit of a ‘60s vibe. Kacey loves icons like Priscilla Presley and Loretta Lynn and Cher, so those were some references for us. This dress kind of embodied that.”

“She switched to a silver snakeskin sandal from Micheal Kors. It had a really cool stacked heel that was almost concave. And then she just wore a pair of her own diamond studs. We just decided with everything going on the top of that, let’s just keep it really, really clean.”

Glam Squad

“I absolutely adore her hair and makeup team: Giovanni Delgado and Moani Lee. We just had this conversation last night about how it really is a group effort, and so no one is competing with the other person trying to make it just singularly their moment. Sometimes you only need simple glam for a look, and it’s nice when everybody realizes what elements make it all cohesive.” 

“Moani really played off of the white looks and the gold accessories for the Brandon Maxwell look, and then when we transitioned over to the Kors dress for her performance, she made it a little bit more ‘60s with a matte pink lip and a glittery Pat McGrath eye.”

Hitting the Stage

“We loved how the Kors sleeve opened, and when she played, it just kind of fell perfectly. Of course there was also the fact that we knew how the top of the dress going to like catch the light and be really pretty. Her body is covered with a guitar, so we wanted to have some type of interesting detail on the top.”

“With both short, white dresses, I thought she looked like a little snow angel. Also, I guess both of the looks had kind of a cape! Maybe innovators are super heroes?! I think so.”