The Untold Truth Of Joy Villa

It was a dress that made you look twice. (You may have even looked away twice.) On Feb. 10, 2019, singer-songwriter Joy Villa attended the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, sashaying across the red carpet in a politically-motivated garment primed for maximum shock value. As The Hollywood Reporter noted, the "black-and-white gown" cribbed the "brick motif" of Pink Floyd's 1979 album The Wall, transforming Villa into a walking endorsement of President Donald Trump's proposed border wall between America and Mexico.

There was little room for misinterpretation. The phrase "Build the Wall" was emblazoned across the back of the dress. Villa wore sprigs of barbed wire on either shoulder strap "to mimic the top of a security fence," according to THR. On top of her "spiky headpiece" and "silver cloak-like dress," Villa's accessory of choice was a red purse with Trump's campaign slogan prominently stamped across the front: "Make America Great Again." No wonder The Grapevine, a progressive blog, asked everyone to "stop inviting Joy Villa to things" in 2018: She's pulled this sort of stunt before.

If you've never heard of Villa — a personality TV Guide called a "perpetual worst-dressed list queen" — you evidently aren't alone: "I honestly feel like Joy Villa is a troll planted at the Grammys to cause press," singer Samantha Scarlette tweeted, "because legitimately NO ONE had ever heard of her prior to the MAGA dress." At the risk of "feeding the troll," let's learn more about Villa and her penchant for widely vilified dresses.

Villa says she was 'attacked' by 'feminists'

We imagine Joy Villa was thrilled that so many media outlets took notice of her ensemble. Variety noted that "MAGA is having a small fashion moment at the 2019 Grammys," while People reported that Villa "dressed as a literal border wall." To that end, Consequence of Sound called the dress Villa's "most groan-worthy garb yet." Meanwhile, Twitter denizens sharpened their claws: One detractor noted that "no one remembers Joy Villa or her music throughout the year — until she does her annual offensive outfit at the #GRAMMYs. It's literally her annual 15 minutes of fame." (Not to worry: We'll highlight some of Villa's previous lewks shortly.)

Following the 2019 Grammys, Villa repeatedly responded to her critics via Twitter: "The amount of sheer hatred ... thrown at me for wearing my support would be heartbreaking if it weren't so over the top hilarious." A Twitter stalwart who might be as prolific (and querulous) as her hero, Villa followed up after the Grammys with an update on her perceived victimhood: "I just want to give a warm shoutout to all the women attacking me with 'feminist' in their bios," she wrote, calling out "Anti Trump Latinos" and "the Black Lives Matter activists telling me to chop off my Afro before they violently do it for me." She signed off that tweet with a sarcastic: "Bless your hearts."

The designer called Joy Villa 'brave'

Priorities are priorities. Shortly after arriving at the Staples Center for the 61st Annual Grammy Awards, Joy Villa tweeted praise for the woman who designed her "gorgeous couture" dress. According to Indy100, her name is Desi Allinger (pictured, right), a self-professed "celebrity fashion designer" who says she's owned her company, Desi Designs Couture, "for five years."

Regarding Villa's fashion sense, Allinger told Indy100 she thinks the musician and occasional actress is "very brave." Villa and Allinger were reportedly introduced a few months prior to the 2019 Grammys, and Allinger claimed they "instantly hit it off. She was humble, kind, open-minded." Although her original idea for Villa's dress was "something very couture and grand," Allinger says she was very much in favor of Villa's "vision" because she thinks of herself as a designer who "embrace[s] challenges."

And now, some mysticism: Allinger told Indy100 that much of the inspiration came to her in a dream. "After Joy told me what she wanted, I slept on it," she said. "That is when I do my creative thinking." Allinger claimed all the pieces clicked into place the next morning: "The barbed wire shoulder piece idea popped in my head ... Then I had to implement the words 'Build The Wall' somewhere ... I sent a sketch to Joy and she loved it." That much is clear.

Villa claimed professional photographers were vicious

Following the premiere of her "Build the Wall" dress, Joy Villa seemed eager to discuss the fashion statement. On Feb. 12, 2019, she stopped by Mornings with Maria on Fox Business Network, kicking off her appearance by claiming that photographers harangued her at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. (Please note: Variety reported Villa is an occasional "Fox News contributor.") Villa, who was seated beside her MAGA purse, told host Maria Bartiromo that the experience was "crazy," claiming "people were just giving me side-eye, giving me negative looks ... scrunching up their face."

As Villa told it, all that face-scrunching was a dark harbinger of things to come: "When I walked the actual red carpet," she said, "the photographers were screaming at me. It's highly unprofessional!" She claimed these purportedly shouty shutterbugs yelled "Down with Trump!" and "Trump hates you!" and "You're a traitor!" 

The next day, Fox News posted a photo of Villa to Instagram, along with one of her quotes from the interview: "I love being the rebel with the cause." Villa reposted that morsel and finished her thought: "I really, really do. God bless this country and our incredible right to free speech."

Is she hoping for a response from Trump?

Twitter's response to Joy Villa's "Build the Wall" dress may have been more entertaining than anything actually seen at the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. (One particularly spicy tweet noted that Villa "favors a reveal. As in, she's constantly revealing her desperation.") When it came to responding to those detractors, Villa wasn't above invoking President Donald Trump's name. "I don't care what anyone thinks [about the dress]," Villa tweeted. "I 100% support the wall & our President." It's safe to say Villa might even be somewhat obsessed with POTUS, because two days later, she reiterated her "support for @realDonaldTrump's Wall." Two days after that, she agreed with a fellow Trump supporter, tweeting, "He's funny and forthright. He also DGAF!" On and on, really.

Following the 2019 Grammy Awards, Villa might have been trying to goad Trump into tweeting something favorable about the dress. Two days after the ceremony, the California-born singer zealously commented on a Trump tweet, in which he wrote: "I want to thank all Republicans for the work you have done in dealing with the Radical Left on Border Security." Villa's response was as simple as it gets: "Thank you @realDonaldTrump! #KeepAmericaGreat." The next day, she responded to another Trump tweet, including a photo of herself wearing the dress and resorting to all-caps: "HELL YES!!!! My POTUS!" 

As of press time, Trump has not responded to Villa.

She's courted controversy at the Grammys for years

In 2017, Joy Villa wore a red, white, and blue number to the Grammy Awards. The dress prominently featured the "Make America Great Again" slogan, along with the name "Trump" emblazoned across "the bottom of the dress," per The Washington PostThis brazen display of stylistic overkill was created by Andre Soriano, who Refinery29 described as a "gay, immigrant designer [who's] obsessed with Donald Trump." Soriano told Billboard the dress was "about bringing people together."

The following year, Villa attended the 2018 Grammys in what Variety called an "anti-abortion dress." The "gown [was] painted with a rainbow fetus and the words 'choose life' [were printed] on her purse." Villa laboriously explained the look to her Instagram followers: "I believe in loving the child and the mother, and I am proudly #ProLife," she wrote. "There is so much pain out there, but I choose to spread love and hope." 

The Grapevine observed that Villa's fashion stylings at the Grammys have always been "transparent grabs for attention" — in some cases, quite literally. In 2015, Villa wore a revealing dress constructed out of "Home Depot fencing." (Buzzfeed claims a roll will put you back 30 bucks.) According to The Grapevine, Villa wore something equally fleshy in 2016, but she evidently didn't grab nearly as many headlines until her costumes took on a political bent.

She used to be a Democrat

Joy Villa wasn't always MAGA proud. Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, she confessed: "When Trump came in the picture, at first I hated him ... To me, the Republicans weren't cool." She reportedly even considered herself a Democrat for a spell, though she "was a registered Independent." Villa evidently had a major change of heart upon returning to America in 2016 after "living outside of the U.S." (Where, she didn't say.) That's when her Trump fascination began: "I thought, 'I've got to check this guy out.'"

Perhaps coincidentally, 2016 is also the year Villa was interviewed by Scientology News. Entitled "The Magic of Scientologist and Singer-Songwriter Joy Villa," the article claims Villa found Scientology during a particularly "dark time in her life." Her "first Scientology course" was reportedly "called Overcoming Ups and Downs in Life." Villa believed its teachings set her on a healthier life trajectory: "Scientology gave me tools to survive, tools to create," she said of the controversial faith, boasting that its tenets turned her into "a creative person who is full of power and there is no stopping me."

There was certainly no stopping Villa from squeezing into her first MAGA-inspired dress and attending the 2017 Grammy Awards. She told THR she "was a secret Trumper for months" and expected lots of blowback from critics — not that she'd let the fear get in her way: "The rebel in me was like, 'I have to come out and support the president.'"

Joy Villa has a style soulmate in Ricky Rebel

Musician Joy Villa wasn't alone in her decision to wear "pro-Trump" glad rags to the 61st Annual Grammy Awards. Per Fox 13, a singer who performs under the name Ricky Rebel also used the ceremony to demonstrate his own patriotic fervor, twirling across the red carpet "in a red, white, and blue jacket." As the Associated Press reported, the "jacket read 'Trump' on the back and 'Keep America Great' on the front," which may explain all that twirling. Incidentally, Rebel's jacket was also designed by Andre Soriano (per The Hollywood Reporter). 

"I'm a reflection of the 60 million+ Americans that voted for @realdonaldtrump," Rebel tweeted, adding: "Don't let anyone keep you in the closet." As Variety reported, Rebel is a bundle of contradictions: He's allegedly bisexual, "an advocate for LGBT rights," and "an active supporter of President Donald Trump." He explained to Fox News Insider why he loves Trump so much: "He inspired me to become the new alpha." Erm, we have no idea what "the new alpha" is, but Rebel's written a song with that title. 

During a visit to Mornings with Maria on Fox Business Network, Villa implied she saw something of a spiritual kinsman in Rebel: "I love this ... Now we have other artists coming out supporting Trump ... I think it's a counterculture shift."

Joy Villa's dress designer issued a disclaimer

Joy Villa's "Build The Wall" gown might be the first-ever dress to come with a disclaimer. "I was worried about the backlash for sure," designer Desi Allinger confessed during her February 2019 appearance on Mornings with Maria on Fox Business Network: "It was a little overwhelming, but I stand behind my work."

But perhaps not on both feet. A photograph posted to the Desi Designs Couture Instagram page suggests Allinger might want some distance from Villa's gown. Although the caption touted Villa's costume as a "one-of-a-kind piece of art from head to toe," it also included this messaging: "DISCLAIMER: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed by my clients are not necessarily the same as my views, thoughts, and opinions." 

Meanwhile, don't expect any disclaimers from Villa, who told the Domenick Nati Show that "the liberals can't bully me." She also claimed she'd received countless "death threats" over her pro-Trump fashion stylings, telling Nati she can't even walk the NYC streets without the aid of "armed security" guards. "I just had a new death threat today that said, 'You don't know what I look like, but I know what you look like, so watch your back.'"

​She's off the charts

Could something be motivating Joy Villa's MAGA-inspired styles beyond her fervid Trump love? According to Newsweek, Villa's 2014 EP I Make The Static somehow "climbed to number one on the and iTunes digital downloads chart in the U.S." following her 2017 appearance at the Grammy Awards. However, if her politically-charged costumes happen to be a business tactic — an attempt to boost record sales through publicity, negative or otherwise — it appears to be one of diminishing returns. Though Villa's Twitter bio claims she's a "#1 Billboard rock recording artist," a glance at her chart history on Billboard's site indicates that her biggest hit, I Make The Static, peaked at No. 12 in March 2017. Could this be a case of "fake news?" 

We'll leave you with this little factoid: According to Fox News Insider, Villa is "mulling a possible run for Congress." She told the news outlet in 2017: "If I run, I'm going to win." It's tempting to laugh at that notion ... but then again, stranger things have happened.