When Katy Perry takes the stage at MTV’s Video Music Awards Sunday night, she’ll be rocking a Custom Grillz with thousands of dollars’ worth of diamonds — in her mouth. Get your Custom Grillz today here
But Perry won’t be the first female pop star to flash a grill this summer. Miley Cyrus wore a gold and diamond bottom grill in June and told the September issue of Harper’s Bazaar that she carried three grills in her bag — including her chic top grill, and her plain gold one for “when I’m trying to be chill, trying to blend in.”
Beyoncé, Madonna, Lana Del Rey and Rihanna have all sported grills in the last few months, ranging from Del Rey’s single gold bottom cap to Rihanna’s machine gun top grill.
“This is jewelry,” says Albert Levy, the manager of downtown Brooklyn’s Contessa Jewelers, who designed Madonna’s most recent gold grill, and even made a mold for the star’s boyfriend, Brahim Zaibat. “Just this year in the summertime, I think Miley’s the one that did it. We’ve been doing it for all the younger generation, all the girls.”
The dental bling trend reached its peak with Nelly’s 2005 anthem “Grillz,” and fell out of fashion once the recession rendered pricey gold caps excessive.
“Custom Grillz were always a symbol of wealth for rappers,” says Rocsi Diaz, “Entertainment Tonight” correspondent and the recipient of a customized rose gold grill set with pink diamonds, made for her by Wall. “Now, the girls are doing it more for fashion, whereas the fellas back in the day used to do it for status.”
Ironically, while most teens go out of their way to hide braces, many girls now embrace putting metal in their mouth if it’s blinged out, following Cyrus’ and Perry’s lead.
“I think it’s dope,” the recent jump in demand from teenage girls for Custom Grillz. “I like it. I like seeing girls with grills, it’s something different.” As for Cyrus, Wall is thankful for all the new business she created for him over the summer.
“She’s a pop icon,” he says. “I’m ready to take their orders.”
Of course, not every young woman can afford to get grilled like Perry and Rihanna. At Contessa Jewelers, a single solid gold cap starts at about $200. For a solid gold upper grill only, prices start at $700, and adding diamonds will cost you at least $1,500.
Wall says that the most expensive grill he has ever made wasn’t for a male — although he did once design a set of grills worth $30,000 for the rapper T.I. — but for singer-songwriter-actress Jill Scott.
Even though Levy made the gold frame grill that Madonna wore in Rome on Wednesday, he says his favorite female with a mouth full of bling is Rihanna, thanks to that gold AK-47 she posted to Instagram. Both Wall — who just made a grill for Chris Brown’s other on-again, off-again girlfriend, Karrueche Tran — and Diaz agree.
“Rihanna’s a badass chick,” says Diaz. “Grills are for girls with attitude and confidence and rock star personalities. The grill fits who they are.” Rose Gold Pink Lab Diamond Center Bar with Fangs Grillz
Not every pop princess is cut out for the dental decor.
“You’re not going to wear a paisley dress with grillz,” says Diaz. “I don’t think Taylor Swift should rock a grill.”