Hello, I Would Definitely Watch a Film Noir Starring Janelle Monáe

Image via W
Image via W

For W magazine’s latest issue, Janelle Monáe dressed up like a fly detective in a fashion feature directed by Jordan Peele. Black History Month keeps on giving.

Styled in multiple dapper pieces from designers like Burberry and Michael Kors, Monáe certainly looks the part of a subverted film noir star. In addition to Peele, W also commissioned Oscar-nominated directors Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) and Luca ­Guadagnino (Call Me By Your Name) to direct fashion features.

For his shoot, Peele tells W, “I wanted to create a Hitchcock moment that doesn’t really exist in a Hitchcock film.” Here’s the backstory:

The scene: A private investigator is standing in a clock tower taking photographs of a parade. She is a woman, played by Janelle Monáe, and she is searching for clues to a murder. As the detective stares through the lens, she begins to realize that one of the bystanders on the ground looks exactly like her. Then she sees another identical face. And another. Suddenly, the sea of potential suspects are visions of herself. Are these women good? Are they evil? And why are these twinlike alter egos haunting her?


Peele chose both Monáe and the woman photographer, Collier Schorr, for the shoot. “I didn’t want the Hitchcock heroine,” he says. “I wanted the Hitchcock hero. That way, we can reclaim this movie that we never got to see. The fear of gender and race robs us of beautiful pieces of film.”

The pictures will give you several reasons to ask, why doesn’t a suit ever look this good on me?

Culture Editor, Jezebel

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The Noble Renard

Ugh these are all unbelievably good.