that TLC look

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weenie Bikini Bodies

Interview by Dionne Carty

Julieanne Mijares, the super-stylist behind TLC's unstoppable crazysexycool look, was more than happy to speak to Sisters in style for a minute about working behind the scenes with T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli. She spared no details in giving us the 411 on what it's really like to dress and style, not only one of the biggest girl group of all time.

Okay, first off Julie, we want to know what is it like to work with TLC - and be honest!

Actually, It's been a totally pleasant experience from day one. They're wonderful girls to work with. They're very nice and it's been a very loyal relationship.

So, when did day one actually begin? Did you work with them back from their first LP, ...On The TLC Tip?

No, I started working with them when T-Boz did "50 Most Beautiful" for People Magazine and then the next job after that was their video "Waterfalls." And I've been doing everything (editorial, videos, interviews etc.) for them ever since.

Since the TLC image is so unique, is it difficult at all to figure out what they want to wear and look?

Well, I'd just like to say that before I came into the picture, Left Eye was doing everything with their clothing from day one. They told me that I was the first stylist to really connect with them. So, in the beginning, we would talk over all of our ideas and we would go from there. But now, they put everything on me. They know I'm pretty much on the same page - they know I know their bodies and personalities now. I know what each of them like.

Do all three of them always agree on what you pick out for them?

I know this may sound strange, I've never come to them with anything and they say they don't like it. It's been the opposite actually. they're great to work with!

What sizes are they?

They are very, very petite. They wear children's sizes and their little bodies are like a stylist's dream!

So, how have you steered their look in any way since you started working with them?

Well, when I met them, they were still into that very big and baggy pants look and we've kinda grown into more body conscious clothing, but still very street edged. We're just talking it to another level at this point.

Is everything bought in the store or specially designed and made for them?

The image is unique, it's nothing we can just pick up at the store. While every single thing isn't made for them, I would say that the majority of things are made and designed for their look and teeny-tiny sizes.

Among Left Eye, Chilli and T-Boz, which one is more daring and which is more conservative with their look?

The differences are slight. Left Eye is so creative in her personality, so she will be the one to go more outrageous - she'll have her pockets out and she'll roll her pants up. T-Boz is more subdued and Chilli is very sensual. But all of them do share the same qualities.

Do they have any favorite colors that they like to wear?

Yes, T-Boz loves white, silver and yellow - and the colors that go well with her blonde hair. Chilli has deep toned skin and jewel colors - purple and really rich colors, look great on her. Now, Left Eye looks great in any color because she has mid-toned skin, and so she looks great in bright green or bright blue.

Do you travel with the group at all?

Yes, I've travelled many places with them. We did the "Diggin' On You" video in Las Vegas, we did lots of editorials, award shows and television spots in New York.

Have there been any times when there was just utter chaos before an appearance?

All the time! (laughs) But it's not them, it just works that way. And usually they wouldn't try on stuff until the night before and I'm there pulling my hair out, hoping that everything fits. I'm such a perfectionist and I just get sooo nervous!

What do the girls do with the outfits after they've worn them?

The clothes just sit in storage where we keep everything for further reference. ANd it's hard since they're such trendsetters, everybody's checking to see what they wear next.

Of course, it's out that they've been having financial difficulties. Has this affected the wardrobe budget at all?

I'm really not sure about that, but what I do know is that the record company has always handled that and it's never affected things on my side of the table. Arista's always provided for them.

That's cool. Julie, rumour has is that Left Eye's patch is for her boyfriend, Andre Rison. Is that true?

Yes, it is. As everyone knows, he's a football player and that's that football thing. It goes well with her "Falcon 88 tatoo."

Will the rest of the groupo be getting tatoos or anything anytime soon?

As a matter of fact, all three of them just got new tatoos! T-Boz's is a little mouse on her rib cage; she has six tatoos in all. Chilli has a rose vine around her ankle - it looks like an ankle bracelet. And Lisa's has a half moon and a music staff.

I remember they did their thing in Chanel on the VH-1 Fashion Awards, can you tell us a little about that?

They had worked with designer Karl Lagerfeld at one point and they all really clicked. And when he found out that he was going to receive and award, he wanted TLC to present it to him. So, I thought that it would be really cool for them to wear Chanel (the house for which he designs) as a tribute to him.

Wow, I know that must've been a whole lot of fun!

It sure was and Karl loved that way they looked!

What are they up to at this point? Is there anything for us TLC fans to look forward to?

They've officially decided that they'll go on a mini-tour soon. They're also getting ready to go into the studio for their next album. Chilli told me to tell the fans "Get ready for the next album. If they liked the last, they'll love the new one!"

Well, Julie, thank you so such for your time and insight into the girls!

Oh, it was no problem, thank you for taking the time out to interview me.

Be sure to take care and keep up the good work!

Thank you.

From Sisters in Style Magazine

October 1996