If there was an award for "Best Dressed," Sam Lao probably would have won that too.
If there was an award for "Best Dressed," Sam Lao probably would have won that too.
Ed Steele

Fashion Notes: Cop Sam Lao's 'Lady in Red' Look From the Dallas Observer Music Awards

For Fashion Notes, the Observer talks with Dallas' most fashion-forward musicians and affordably recreates some of their coolest outfits.

Last week, Sam Lao walked away with five Dallas Observer Music Awards including Best Album and Best Song, and had there been a “Best Dressed” award for the night she probably would have taken that too. The rapper sported two different all-red looks that night: a form-fitting red dress with lace-up heels, and a top and jean combo accessorized with a long shawl and thigh-high boots.

“Red to me is such a powerful and versatile color, and with it being the first color associated with SPCTRM, it was a nod to the album that had earned me all my nominations," Lao says. "The dress I wore showed red as its more sultry, sexy persona, whereas my performance look was more passion and power."

Putting thought into what she wears on stage is nothing new for Lao. As a female performer, Lao feels there is added pressure for her to be visually appealing in addition to musically gifted. “I can't be like the guys and get away with wearing the same outfit for every show,” she says.

But that doesn’t mean Lao doesn’t see the merit in cultivating a killer aesthetic. “I feel like how I look can set the tone as soon as I step onstage before I even open my mouth, so I try to make sure my visual presentation is just as strong as my actual performance."

Lao doesn’t work with a stylist. Her look is her own creation, literally, because besides being a talented musician, Lao also makes some of the pieces she wears. She handmade the top and shawl she wore at the DOMAs. “I make my own outfits as often as I can or as often as my sewing skills will allow, even if it's just a piece here and there," she says. "It's nice being able to add that extra custom element."

Don’t know how to sew but feeling inspired to add some more red into your wardrobe? You’re in luck. Check out our shopping guide below on how to create fiery outfits inspired by Sam Lao’s DOMAs ceremony looks.

Red Dress 
Forever 21
Galleria Dallas
13350 Dallas Parkway
$38
If you are trying to channel your inner Sam Lao, you can’t wear any old dress. It has to be a statement piece. This show-stopping dress has a corset look similar to Lao's DOMA ceremony dress, except it's satin and a bit longer. It will still do the trick.

Red Lace-Up Heels
ASOS
Online Only
$43
Now that you have the dress, you need some matching shoes. These lace-up satin heels will ensure everyone sees you coming a mile away.

Burgundy Bandeau Crop Top
ASOS
Online Only
$30
Lao made her top, but you don’t have to. Grab this inexpensive bandeau with a metallic shimmer from ASOS.

Burgundy Skinny Jeans
Charlotte Russe
NorthPark Center
8687 North Central Expressway
$20
Charlotte Russe offers affordable options for those preferring to rock red jeans instead of a dress. Sizing ranges from 0 to 18.

Burgundy Over-the-Knee Boots
Charlotte Russe
NorthPark Center
8687 North Central Expressway
$25
While at Charlotte Russe’s website, save some money on shipping and grab these faux suede over-the-knee boots. It's a different material than Lao wore, but at $15 you can't beat the price.

Burgundy Shawl
Azazie
Online Only
$20
Keeping with the burgundy, add this beautiful tulle wrap as the final wow factor in crafting your own red hot look.

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