Each week, FADER Media Style Director Chioma Nnadi will comment on the throwback style and fashion of a Suite903 artist. Today’s Re-Issue: Gal Costa.
The first picture I ever saw of Gal Costa was from the cover of her album India. The picture really shows nothing more than a close-up of the Brazilian singer's nether regions in an itsy bitsy red bikini—needless to say, the record was censored on the strength of that risqué cover art. Of course, that great big Brazilian cliché of the leggy, hip-swinging girl always looms large. Gal Costa went so much further than that, converting all that crazy red hot energy into something cooly sensual and deeply stylish.
She'd often perform in what most people might call beachwear, showing off her midriff on stage—sometimes barefoot—and usually wore her hair big and frizzy, like she'd just stepped out of a pool of salty water. In this performance Costa is wearing a plunging red sequin dress, and has a few flowers casually tucked behind her ear. Filmed in black and white, this particular rendition of Caetano Veloso's "Da Maior Importância," has none of the sunshine technicolor usually associated with tropicália, which kind of makes it even more awesome. At one point Costa sets asides her guitar and just loses it to the moody blues of the song, looking straight into the camera like she's trying to burn a hole into your soul. Clearly it doesn't get more colorful than that.