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Cardi B and Petra Collins Are an Aesthetic Match Made In Heaven

How fashion photographer and filmmaker Collins' hyper-feminine lens interacts with Cardi in the "Bartier Cardi" video.
Lauren O'Neill
London, GB

Cardi B has, demonstrably, experienced an ascent to the upper echelons of hip-hop in the amount of time it takes most people to go from shagging to pregnant to giving birth. And that means that practically everything she does now turns into something of an event. So, for her latest venture – a video for the three minutes of delicious braggadocio that is "Bartier Cardi" – she's enlisted someone with an eye that, at first glance, seems worlds apart from Cardi's own. Enter: fashion darling Petra Collins.


The 25-year-old is best known for her work as a fashion photographer and filmmaker (though she's also a sometime model – catch her in Gucci's latest perfume campaign). She previously worked with Cardi when she photographed her for CR Fashion Book's Issue 12 cover, using her particular and expert eye to pull out Cardi's specifically feminine strength.

So it makes sense that when it's an event Cardi needs, Collins would be the creative her team would turn to. In Collins' signature style, the "Bartier Cardi" video (which premiered during last night's episode of Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta) is hyper-feminine, and pastiches music videos in general by using men as props – peep the way that oiled-up male models lip sync the word "Cardi" – and amping up a hazy, prettily-lit glitz.

For her part, Cardi channels a mixture of Old Hollywood glamour and Lil Kim circa Hard Core as she raps gleefully about her money and her pussy. And it's clear that from the girls tossing dollars at the TV screen she's projected from, to the super-femme dance party she hosts, this video is all about feminine choice, power, and excess. Cardi represents all of those ideas to millions of fans, after all. The Collins-Cardi mix is so potent that it even muffles the desperate screams for attention made by 21 Savage's semen-as-hot-sauce-metaphor and 'hehehe I don't perform cunnilingus and for unknown reasons, I'm proud of that' verse.

Initially, it would be easy to think that Collins and Cardi's aesthetics are somewhat incongruous. We don't often see Cardi in a soft focus glow, dripping in diamonds, since many of her visuals have tended to rely on a crispness and affinity with gold and black tones so far. But it works. It's rare that two creative visions seem to match so well, but in Petra Collins seems to have extracted the essence of Cardi B – sparkle, vigour – and made it into a movie. Feast your eyes above.

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