Mrs. Carter’s New Squeeze-------
Beyoncé—superstar, tastemaker, Givenchy flame wearer—kicks off the U.S. leg of her Mrs. Carter Show World Tour in L.A. tonight. She already debuted a wealth of flashy wares in Europe, like custom costumes by The Blonds, David Koma, Dsquared², and Emilio Pucci. But, for her Stateside performances, Mrs. Carter is adding a few sartorial surprises. And she tapped emerging Israeli designer Alon Livné to make them.
The pair ignited their creative relationship back in February after Beyoncé’s stylists, Ty Hunter and Raquel Smith, attended the 27-year-old’s debut New York Fashion Week presentation. Smith reported back to Bey, who quickly fell in love with with one of Livné’s metal-embellished Pre-Fall gowns, and requested customized versions—in red—for her and her backup dancers to wear on the tour.
Based in Tel Aviv, where he owns two stores, Livné returned to New York earlier this month to show his Resort ’14 collection to retailers. And not long after his arrival, he got a call. “They asked me if I could do something special,” Livné told Style.com—the “they” being Beyoncé’s stylists, and her mother, Tina. “I said yes, of course.” There was one problem, though: he had nowhere to work. But when you’re designing for pop culture’s reigning queen, nothing is impossible. Beyoncé’s camp set him up in an office with an industrial sewing machine, and he got to it. “I think the fact that they were willing to help me make these dresses, and to give me a studio, was so amazing,” offered Livné. “I mean, it’s Beyoncé. She can go anywhere from Chanel to Givenchy and pick whatever she likes, and she helped me.”
The fruit of his labor is a scarlet corset sprinkled with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS crystals, the sketch of which debuts exclusively above. The look will serve as Ms. Knowles’ show opener this evening. Livné also made the star a printed gown with metal details, and a bevy of costumes for her backup dancers.
Not surprisingly, the Beyoncé connection has done wonders for Livné’s budding career. “Obviously, in Israel, it was huge, huge, huge amazing news,” he said. “Everyone was talking about the Israeli designer that dressed Beyoncé, the biggest star in the world.” But it’s helped him in New York, too—which is key, since he’s packing up his atelier and moving to Chelsea this summer. The designer, who interned at Alexander McQueen and worked with Roberto Cavalli before launching his dark, dramatic signature line nearly four years ago, just got picked up by Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue. He’ll also put on a runway show at Lincoln Center this September. “I want to live my dream and work on the biggest stage that I can,” he said before catching his plane back to Tel Aviv on Thursday night. “So coming to New York is a dream come true.”