4 posts tagged "Destiny’s Child"
A stellar story by The New York Times‘ fashion director, Vanessa Friedman, popped up on my news feed this afternoon, and it led me to a startling revelation: Beyoncé is not a fashion icon. Friedman’s article was spurred by a fashion exhibition dedicated to Queen Bey in the Legends of Rock section of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which, having opened last week, features the gold Thierry Mugler bodysuit from 2009′s “Sweet Dreams,” the superstar’s black leather and lace 2013 Super Bowl look, and the metal glove from 2008′s “Single Ladies” video, as well as the violet feather-embellished Givenchy Haute Couture gown Mrs. Carter donned to the 2012 Met Gala. To be sure, most of these wares are showstoppers. But are they iconic? Not so much.
What’s more, Friedman notes, is that despite her mega following, Beyoncé hasn’t spurred a bevy of trends or launched the careers of young designers, like Rihanna or Lady Gaga have. Furthermore, aside from booty-baring bodysuits, I can’t even think of how one might describe Beyoncé’s signature offstage style because she doesn’t really have one. She hasn’t truly demonstrated any evolution in her wardrobe or her taste since her Destiny’s Child days. And even scrolling through the exhibition images online, the majority of the included pieces have an overly chintzy-meets-not-quite-street aesthetic, as if Bey were stuck in the days of “Bills Bills Bills.”
But that’s not to say Beyoncé isn’t a cultural icon (and I’m not just saying that for fear of Beygency retaliation). She has a body like a rocket, she’s broken every record in the book (like that time she released 17 videos overnight on iTunes), and she’s got moves and a voice most performers would kill for. However, as a voice for feminine empowerment in the public eye, it would be exciting if she stepped up her day-to-day sartorial game just a smidge. And for that matter, it would have been nice to have seen the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame fete a real fashion tastemaker (ahem, Rihanna) instead.
“If you got it, flaunt it, boy I know you want it,” cooed Beyoncé in her 2006 hit “Check on It”—and she’s never shied to show us what she’s working with it, whether it’s a baby bump, enviable curves, or a myriad of hairstyles. The world has watched Beyoncé transition from Destiny’s Child’s leading lady to Mrs. Carter. (And the power of Queen Bee was never more evident than the night she casually dropped a fifteen-song, seventeen-video solo album overnight.) Today, Beyoncé kicks off the On the Run tour alongside hubby Jay Z, and naturally, we’re pretty excited to see the costumes. In the meantime, we take a look back at the evolution of Beyoncé’s style and career.
In Her Dereon Jeans
As far as outrageous mixing-and-matching goes, no girl group made quite the impression like Destiny’s Child in the late nineties. When the fresh-faced Beyoncé Knowles, accompanied by (then) members LaTavia Roberson, LeToya Luckett, and Kelly Rowland, debuted the “Bills, Bills, Bills” music video in 1998, the quartet embraced coordination in various iterations of Tina Knowles’ designs. Following some shake-ups in the bandmate department, the “survivors,” alongside new member Michelle Williams, went on to dress thrice as nice—in videos, in concert, and in public appearances.
Queen Bey broke from the girl group in 2001 and went on to achieve multi-platinum status in 2003 with her debut solo album, Dangerously in Love, which boasted an impressive roster of collaborators like Missy Elliott and (the then-hyphenated) Jay-Z. For the 2003 tour, as well as her subsequent Beyoncé Experience tour, onstage Queen Bey literally began sparkling on her own. Silver sequins, metallic fringe, and shimmery body-conscious costumes abounded. All that glittered was Beyoncé. (Above, in Giorgio Armani during her Dangerously in Love tour.)
Drunk in Love
After the pair’s “Bonnie & Clyde” (2002) duet, romance rumors about Bey and rapper Jay-Z began circulating. And after they performed together, they started turning up together. Most notable was their promotional appearance on TRL‘s Spankin’ New Music Week in 2002. No stranger to matching her outfits to those of her co-performers, Bey donned a denim dress in coordination with Jay.
Bey’s ‘Bay on Board
When Beyoncé showed up to the 2011 VMAs draped in a fluid, fiery red Lanvin gown, Twitter was set abuzz—was she concealing a bump? Later that night, Bey, in all her sparkly glory, took to the stage in a Dolce & Gabbana tux, topped with a shrunken sequined blazer. But the spotlight was on her tummy. Bey ended her performance, blazer open, rubbing her tummy and confirming suspicions that Blue Ivy was on board. Performing pregnant? All in a day’s work.
She Woke Up Like This
Beyoncé had no shortage of designer duds during her 2013 Mrs. Carter world tour, which boasted costumes by Emilio Pucci’s Peter Dundas, Dsquared², The Blonds, David Koma (who was recently appointed the creative director of Mugler), and Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing. The endless array of glammed-out wares was just further proof that Bey run the world.
You two are good friends with Kate Moss, and have been working with her for years. How was the Playboy shoot different from your previous collaborations with her? Did you have any hesitations?
Mert Alas: Oh, my God, it was a no-brainer. When Kate asked us to shoot her for Playboy‘s sixtieth anniversary issue, you know, we had to do it.
Marcus Piggott: We didn’t have any hesitations. We were all in from the start. We’ve done a lot of things with Kate—a lot of role-playing, a lot of fashion pictures, a lot of personal pictures—and when we started this project, we asked ourselves what not to do. We wanted it to be really Kate. It wasn’t about the hair or the makeup, it wasn’t about styling or fashion. It wasn’t about all the frivolous tools of our industry. It was about her—her lips, her charisma, her body, her skin, her eyes…
What makes this shoot stand out from a typical Playboy spread?
MP: She’s dressed more than the girls in most Playboy editorials. It was a bit of a striptease. We wanted to leave a little bit to the imagination, and we wanted the reader to get excited imagining what’s underneath. But there are a lot of crazy pictures that you haven’t seen…
Oh, really? What kind of pictures?
MA: They were just fun pictures—a bit ruder and crazier than what’s in the magazine. Someday they’ll come out! Marcus and Kate and I were laughing, and we told her that we’ll get them out there when she’s 60.
You mentioned that you didn’t want this to be like a fashion shoot, but you can find naked women in pretty much any high-end fashion magazine. Do you think there’s too much nudity in fashion? We are selling clothes, after all.
MA: First of all, we must appreciate what a fashion magazine is. I don’t like calling them fashion magazines. I just call them magazines. In the old days, you’d see a great article, a great fashion picture, and a great nude all under one hat. So, no, I don’t mind seeing a naked girl in a fashion magazine as long as the photograph represents something beyond meat, flesh, and sex. If it’s about an object, or creating a beautiful print, or there’s a message in it, or it inspires you, or makes you happy or angry, then it has substance. And as long as there’s substance, I think, why not? Continue Reading “Mert and Marcus Talk Playboy, Lady Gaga, And Why They’re Better Together” »
The voice of the people—at least the voice as expressed by Twitter—has spoken: Beyoncé shut it down as the Super Bowl halftime act tonight. (Whether she literally shut down the power in the Superdome for a 35-minute spell is unlikely but technically TBD.) She also may have made the career of the New York-based designer Rubin Singer, who designed the leather bodysuit, motorcycle jacket, and lace overlay that the singer wore to perform. He’s also the man behind the costumes of Beyoncé’s Destiny’s Child cohort Michelle Williams and, according to the New York Times, 120 backup dancers. Kelly Rowland went her own way: Her black leather bodysuit came courtesy of Emilio Pucci. All three, however, wore booties by Proenza Schouler.