Babygirl Aaliyah

November 14, 2019

Whether you lived in the same era as Aaliyah’s or not, Aaliyah’s style influence  is present all around and is to be found in anyone somewhere inside.

As soon as I’d typed Babygirl Aaliyah, Amy’s Back To Black started on the radio. Aaliyah was, already, so tenderly aching to write about and here comes Amy. I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in, thank you Gaga, as I dive into the style file on Aaliyah, ladies and gentlemen.

When, back in 2001, I heard about the plane crash Aaliyah had died in, an instant sharp sadness struck me. I loved Aaliyah right from the start and hadn’t thought of her not being around until the end. Some things feel like forever. A happy thought has just crossed my mind. Some things are forever. Her music. Spirit. Style.

There’s something about some people you relate to and hold on tight to in a way that you almost don’t even realise. And when those people are gone, to Heaven or another planet, that something becomes even more obvious. To you. That something between you and them is all you’ve got. And it feels like no one would really, really ever know what that something really, really feels like, but you’re cool with that. It makes it even more special. You treasure and slip it so finely somewhere into a corner of who you are that the corner starts to feel like a heart on its own. A heart on its own in the corner of your heart. One is enough, no? Our heart. One heart. One.

I’m trying to get to the style part as I write,

But this feeling won’t let me,

The fingers type by themselves.

It feels like a wave and what’s with all the rhyming?

It’s just flying.

I stopped again and starred. Into myself, I guess. To find a way. How do I switch this into style? Wait, this has been about style all along. There is no style if there is no something coming from within, anyway. It makes sparkles spark and transforms that instant sharp sadness into the instant inner happiness you go to whenever you feel like slipping into the corner no one knows about.

Except maybe for the one that does.

Love, the light, soft, effortless, mellow, airy, sweet, diaphanous feeling and, yet, the most excruciating, acute and piercing one in the universe. Sometimes! We slip it, so finely, somewhere into a corner that almost feels like a heart on its own only we, really, really, know about. The kind of really, really no one can dismantle, nor should anyone want to even try.

At the end of the day, the end of it all, that precious, special something that feels like a heart on its own you secretly (magically) go to for a spark, is all that matters. And then, one day, we find out that nothing breaks like a heart. And then, another day comes. Brighter. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, I’m not sure whether I can call you lucky or not. Yet! You’ll figure it out one day. Or not.

Style has a lot to do with that precious, special something.

Aaliyah’s style evolution felt gradual, organic. She incorporated elements from her past into her avant-garde and down to earth present at once, bringing something natural into her every look. Hand in hand with her personality – shy, yet passionate (the hair), her work – sexy (low-cuts, a lot of waist showing), yet tomboyish (baggy jeans, Timberland boots, boxer shorts), her girl next door vibes, uniqueness, smile, bandanas, dungarees.

Fresh from the basketball court chic, her words.

She captured the style of an era, the ’90s, in a manner that’s become legacy for the fashion world to grasp on, in a manner that makes one wear the baggy jeans only when one feels the baggy jeans. It’s the attitude that comes with the territory. It’s that something! Or quite a few.

An inspiration for the nowadays bra tops cool girls wear, oh yeah.

Aaliyah circa 1997 must’ve crossed Demna Gvasalia’s mind for Balenciaga.

The Bottega Veneta sandals, 20 years later.

The sunglesses everywhere, 20 years later.

Isabel Marant shoulders.

Rihanna vibes.




Aaliyah was (is) free and unapologetic. All her lyrics are about love, the light, soft, effortless, mellow, airy, sweet, diaphanous feeling and, yet, the most excruciating, acute and piercing one in the universe. Not afraid to admit and live it. The conversations Aaliyah must be having with Amy, up in the sky, right now…

More Than A Woman

One In A Million

The One I Gave My Heart to

Courage is so sexy. The sexiest when in the company of truth.

It makes you get away with any kind of bra top in the world.

Try Again

In a daydream that turns to real life.

In your mailbox would be ideal, yet in your e-mail is pretty close, yay!
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Hey, this is Cristina Pavelescu wearing a music cassette sweater, decoding (life) style and writing from wherever, yet always living in OZ, a world I invite you into. To smile in front of our screens (and live one day), put any kind of questions, answer in writing (or imagination) and marvel at fashion which is, in fact, style.


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