V. Stiviano and the art of the paparazzi fashion op

Los Angeles Times Fashion Critic

There is a long history in Hollywood of the art of the paparazzi moment as fashion op.

And V. Stiviano, the woman in the middle of the firestorm of Clippers’ owner Donald Sterling’s allegedly racist remarks, seems to be falling in line behind the masters Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Kim Kardashian and others.

Audio recordings leaked over the weekend are said to depict an argument between Stiviano and Sterling in which he expresses frustration with Stiviano over her associating with blacks at Clippers games and posting pictures of herself with them on her Instagram account.

Stiviano has denied leaking the recordings and is not commenting to media.

But her wardrobe is saying something else; and it’s anything but low-profile.


She was photographed Monday leaving a courtroom in downtown L.A. wearing a bizarre, face-shielding mirrored visor, and later in the day wearing a different color of the same visor, almost as if she’d been stocking up, knowing that she’d need them.

Hats don’t hide as much as they scream, “Look at me!” You only have to look at Pharrell Williams to know that. Williams has been wearing Vivienne Westwood’s outsized Mountain hats with such zeal, the hat has earned its own Twitter feed (@Pharrellhat) and became a bona-fide cultural meme.

Stiviano, whose Instagram bio reads “artist, lover, writer, chef, poet, stylist and philanthropist,” seems to be a fashion enthusiast. Born Maria Vanessa Perez, she changed her name to V. Stiviano in 2010, and has since created T-shirts and hats emblazoned with “V. Stiviano.” She’s also posted Instagram pictures of herself at New York Fashion Week, complete with hashtags denoting the designers she was wearing.

Well, she’s certainly on trend. There have been numerous visors on the runways the last few seasons, from the mirrored Space Age Alexander McQueen versions from spring 2012, to sporty jeweled versions in the Marni spring 2014 collection.

But you also have to examine the whole look in the photo above. Normcore it ain’t. It has an urban warrior vibe, from the visor to the “I mean business” men’s briefcase to the Valentino rock stud camouflage flats.

Stiviano is fighting a few legal battles. She was in court Monday to report on community service completed after pleading no contest to a 2012 DUI charge. And last month, she was sued by Sterling’s wife, Rochelle, who is seeking the return of a duplex, a Ferrari, two Bentleys and a Range Rover that her husband allegedly bought for Stiviano.

The suit describes Stiviano as a seductress. She is at least a seductress in style.


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