Julia Michaels Is Christian Cowan’s Latest Muse

The path-forging designer and Grammy-nominated vocalist discuss a future of collaboration.

Known for putting the glitter in the glameratti, designer Christian Cowan finds his muse among pop culture’s finest icons. Between dressing Cardi B for the cover of her debut album Invasion of Privacy, presenting two Powerpuff Girls-inspired collections with the likes of Paris Hilton and Meghan Trainor, counting Lady Gaga, Beyoncé, and Keke Palmer as famous fans, and diving into menswear for the first time with Lil Nas X, Cowan’s larger-than-life designs truly come to life on some of the world’s most powerful creatives — and this time is no different. The colorful visionary has officially inducted Julia Michaels into his fanciful world in a fashion video soundtracked by an acoustic version of the singer-songwriter’s hit track “Lie Like This.”

Michaels boasts a powerful discography, one underscored by an impressive vocal range and highly relatable lyricism — in fact, it was Michaels’ unwavering tenacity that initially drew Cowan to working with her. “It’s the sense of strength that I get from her music that resonates with my designs and the woman I design for,” the visionary told V. “I think so often my designs for singers have been very unattainable in the way the look is out together, less wearable. What’s special about working with Julia is she makes even the most wild outfit seem really easy to wear. That’s something I want to bring into my collections more and more.”

In the duo’s first video project, the “If The World Was Ending” singer flaunts a dramatic, feathered headpiece paired with a tailored black dress embellished with gold finishes from Cowan’s Fall/Winter 2021 collection. The look is wild-yet-collected, an aesthetic the designer has coined among his latest pieces. “I wanted to make something undeniably chic, while also outrageous,” Cowan said of the look. “I mixed a few of our signature elements, the blazer dress, the use of ostrich feathers. But remixed it with golden globe stud embellishments.”

On the daily, Michaels takes an open-minded approach to style, ensuring that her aesthetic is constantly evolving with an androgynous-leaning wardrobe. “I’d like to think [my style] is pretty fluid, ever changing and always different, a nice blend of masc and femm,” she said. “I like a heel with a sweatshirt and I like a sneaker with a dress.” Though Cowan’s whimsical creations might not initially seem to fit into that box, Michaels admits that the designer’s extravagant taste makes her feel invincible.

“I love Christian Cowan’s bold use of fabrics, colors, shapes and patterns,” said Michaels. “[His designs] make me feel like I can be loud. I can be confident in what I wear and how I wear it. Christian’s designs are so pretty yet powerful and I think any woman would feel exactly that when they put Christian’s art on.”

As Michaels gears up for the release of her next single “All Your Exes” on March 26 and her upcoming album later this year, it’s safe to say we can expect a few more pop-infused fashion collaborations between these two powerhouses.

Below, revel in Christian Cowan’s latest fashion film with Julia Michaels.

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