MARY J. GLADLY O-BLIGES: Nine-time Grammy winner Mary J. Blige is accustomed to performing in front of thousands, but walking the runway with Dennis Basso at his show Monday afternoon was a different kind of appearance.
“Of course, I was nervous. I’m not a runway model.” she said backstage after the show at Cipriani 42nd Street. “I was hoping that I would walk right and my train wouldn’t get caught on my shoes so I can do Dennis justice.”
The musician flew in from New Orleans where she is shooting the film “Body Cam,” to help the designer take his final bow. She also plays the lead in the designer’s latest ad campaign. Basso said, “I couldn’t feel better here with my good friend Mary. I feel exhilarated. It’s like a new everything for me. I’ve changed my collection. It’s not such a heavy hand. It’s lightweight, feathery and has just a little touch of beading here and there. It’s pure spring/summer.”
Wearing a slimming, white column gown, the musician said, “Style is however you want to express yourself. There’s no right way or wrong way to do it. It’s how you feel and what makes you feel good. When you are trying to do something that you’re not comfortable with, it affects your style. You want to be wearing the dress. You don’t want the dress to wear you. So you have to make sure you’re comfortable with the color, the shape, the fit and you love it. If you don’t love — this is for me — don’t wear it.”
In addition to her role as a police officer in “Body Cam,” Blige recently wrapped up playing an assassin in the “The Umbrella Academy,” a new series for Netflix. Next up is work on a new album, so “life is good,” she said. “They’re both fun. The acting is less fun, because it’s harder to do and it’s a lot more to learn. But the singing is fun, and the touring and all that stuff is fun.”
Movies are nothing new for Blige who was nominated for two Oscars last year — for Best Supporting Actress and for Best Original Song for her contributions to “Mudbound.” As for her latest film roles, Blige said, “The cop is a little sad. She’s curious about something that happened with some police brutality, so she’s going through it. The assassin was fun because she’s just bad for no reason.”
One matter she had no interest in policing, or rather commenting on, was the weekend’s Cardi B-Nicki Minaj dispute. And contrary to recent reports, Blige herself was not involved with any fashion week dust-ups. “I’m in New Orleans shooting a movie. I just got here today,” Blige said. “That’s just the way of the world. People just create stuff every day, all day. They make up stuff all the time.”