Stacia Lang, Fashion Design ’84, designed some of Prince’s most legendary stage outfits, including the notorious yellow buttless pants he wore at the 1991 MTV Video Music Awards. In the wake of his death, she shared some of her memories of the inimitable artist.


“The loss of Prince has really hit me hard. Harder than I could have expected. I was his costume designer from 1990-93, and those who have worked closely with him over the years have stated that once you are within his inner circle, you can never, ever leave, psychologically. The experience transforms you. Lifts you up, tears you down, and rebuilds you.

There is no way to describe this ethereal, otherworldly genius. To me, every meeting was like being in another dimension. Not that it was easy. Not that it was always pleasant. But it was genius. I was fully aware of this at every moment. What Prince brought to the creative table of collaboration is something I have never seen the likes of, before or since. A singular expression of being. A one-of-a-kind voice in this world of cookie-cutter mediocrity.

Heart note

A note from Prince to Lang demonstrates how involved he was in the design process.

My method was this: I would present him with a portfolio of sketches, which he would study in solitude, making notes on Post-its regarding changes or expressing his thoughts. Once I got the portfolio back, I would share it with the workroom staff and start making the garments. It was so exciting. Sometimes he would give me a theme before I started my sketches–Nehru jackets, “Barbarella meets the Godfather,” or most perplexing, a suit with the “butt out.” Yes, that was one that will go down in infamy. But no matter how outrageous or how seemingly simple (even silk pajamas), they were all completely and fully Prince, and no one else in the world could wear them.

With his loss, I’m reeling, just like the rest of the world. But the richness I feel, in having shared a moment with him, is priceless to me, and will forever inform my work.”

Featured photo caption: This silk charmeuse jacket was printed with photographs of members of the New Power Generation. Lang sent it to Gene Mignola in New York to do the screen printing. “He had a period where he loved to wear pajama fabric like a suit,” Lang says. “He had very little distinction between daywear, evening wear, and clothes for concerts.”

Lang now works as a specialty costumer for Hollywood films. Read about a recent project here.


Discussion — One Response

  • Evelyn 05/02/2016 on 1:57 pm

    Amazing work for an amazing talent!

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