In the world of music, nobody had a more dramatic image transformation this year than Billie Eilish. The Grammy-winning artist first shook up the music world when she debuted platinum blonde hair in March 2021—a drastic change from the neon green and jet-black locks she had going for two years.
The move was about growth and exploration just as much as it was about anonymity (the artist admitted she could barely leave the house without being recognized by her green roots), but Eilish didn’t stop there. In May the “Ocean Eyes” singer welcomed her Happier Than Ever era with a corset-clad photo shoot that practically broke the internet.
At the time, Eilish knew the shift from baggy head-to-toe looks to something vampier would draw attention and criticism. “Suddenly you’re a hypocrite if you want to show your skin, and you’re easy and you’re a slut and you’re a whore,” she told British Vogue. “Showing your body and showing your skin—or not—should not take any respect away from you.”
And many months later, Eilish doesn’t know why it’s still such a big deal. “It was supposed to be a specific aesthetic for a photo shoot, and then it was like, ‘Billie Eilish’s new style’ and people kept being like, ‘Wow, her new style, it’s so much better than the old style.’ Or like, ‘Wow, I wish that we could have her old style back, I’m so sad that she’s just changed into this,’” she recently told Vanity Fair, per BuzzFeed.
She continued, “It was so weird because I was like, ‘It’s not a new style; it’s one thing I wore and then I’m gonna wear this another day and then I’m gonna do this.’ Literally, the thing that I’ve been preaching about since I first started is to wear what you want.”
And while it’s true Eilish stepped out of her comfort zone in 2021—that iconic Met-gala moment will go down in history—it’s not like she’s left her oversized streetwear in 2020. Here, let’s look back on Billie Eilish’s biggest style moments of 2021.