How many outfits can one woman wear in one night? Adele seemed to be going for the world record this weekend, turning her Saturday Night Live hosting duties into a fashion show of epic proportions. So far, I’ve counted 13 looks - and I’m sure there are plenty more.
Adele has always given great style - there was the haute boho Chloe gown she wore for her 2016 Glastonbury performance (which she recently brought back to re-watch the show) and the Marine Serre moon motif top she donned to match with Beyoncé in August - but SNL felt like the real ‘hello’ to her fashion reawakening as she hopped across a vast range of clothing genres, from elegant lace gowns to flower-emblazoned jumpsuits and slogan t-shirts, throughout the evening.
“I know I look really, really different since you last saw me but actually, because of all the Covid restrictions and the travel bans, I had to travel light and only bring half of me – and this is the half I chose,” the singer said as she opened the programme, referring to her recent, much-publicised weight loss.
Her costume choice for that moment was perhaps chosen to emphasise her transformation - and if it wasn’t, it definitely did anyway. She kicked off the evening’s fashion menu wearing a sleek £1,334 sleek, black off-shoulder peplum jacket by New York-based label Brock Collection paired with stirrup leggings (an influencer favourite), Manolo Blahnik heels and an enormous pair of Schiaparelli crystal earrings... sophistication with a little bit of edge to stop things veering into retro starlet territory (though many comparisons were made with Meryl Streep’s look in ‘90s film Death Becomes Her).
From here, Adele’s SNL outfits went off on all kinds of tangents. She had reunited for the night with her longtime stylist, Gaelle Paul, who shared more of the highlights. One scene saw the singer don a crushed velvet shirt (£410 from Acne Studios) worn with a co-ordinating black mask while in another she nodded to her famously no-nonsense sense of humour with an upscale £530 hoodie bearing the slogan ‘This is such a nightmare’ by London-based, Indian-born designer Ashish.
Another promo shot for the show saw Adele in a heart-embellished suit from L.A label Libertine which she made no effort to pare down, teaming it with a matching $595 dollar beret from the same glam-rock-style brand and a take on the iconic I heart NY t-shirt.
And there was more… besides the under-the-radar names she championed, Adele also wore a flower-emblazoned jumpsuit by Valentino, a house she’s worn many times before, including at the Brits and the Grammys. There were looks which chimed with her usual classically glamorous style like a black velvet dress with furry cuffs, a black lace gown and a Miss Havisham-y pearl-encrusted outfit.
Less quintessential Adele was a bleached, skintight, crystal-encrusted double denim ensemble (quite Fiorucci) which she sported for one of the spoofs, a trailer for Ass Angel jeans - another allusion to the furore which her transformed figure has evoked? ‘She’s got the ass of an angel,’ went the lyrics of the infomercial-meets-terrible-’80s-pop-video skit.
Equally, the slinky printed gown, mega-perm and giant coral necklace in an Africa tourism sketch was pure Princess Margaret-on-Mustique meets Krystle Carrington.
Adele’s SNL fashion extravaganza was topped off with a staggering array of jewellery; there were armfuls of Cartier bangles and giant hoops by Broken English and Shaun Leane, Princess Beatrice’s engagement and wedding ring designer. The royal treatment didn’t end there - Sam McKnight (the man who transformed Princess Diana’s hair from ‘80s helmet to ‘90s chic) had masterminded the singer’s selection of hair changes, from elegantly gentle waves draped over one shoulder (‘this is all mine,’ she insisted at one point) to low ponytails.
You might forgive Adele for wanting to take a break after a fashion marathon spanning all taste levels from timeless chic to Marmite, but with a new album on the cards (‘my album’s not finished,’ she said, at least confirming that it had been started), it may only be the beginning of her new style chapter.