A Closer Look at Beyoncé’s 5 Custom-Made Balmain Outfits at Coachella
Because the Queen would never wear anything off the rack
The #Beychella tweets have been coming in fast and strong in honour of Queen B, the first woman of colour to headline Coachella, and it’s safe to say her two-hour set has left the world shook. Jay-Z! Solange! A Destiny’s Child reunion! There was a LOT to take in. And of course, none of the high-octane drama would have been possible without the five showstopping costumes custom-created for her by Olivier Rousteing of Balmain (of which the glittering Nefertiti-inspired cape was undoubtedly the highlight).
Known for his richly embellished, sexy, powerful ensembles beloved by the hip hop elite, Rousteing was obviously the go-to choice for this momentous performance, and was approached by Marni Senofonte, Beyoncé’s longtime stylist, soon after his Fall 2018 show this past February. “Marni told me that the shows were all about survivors and that B was looking for something in a military style,” Rousteing tells Vogue.
Who better to design empowering, military-themed outfits for Beyoncé than the man whose devotees are dubbed the Balmain Army? So Rousteing quickly got to work, creating two custom stage wardrobes for the megastar, for both her consecutive weekend performances. He also dressed the 200+ dancers and musicians on stage, as well as Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.
According to Vogue, “Rousteing only had a few weeks to pull it all together, spending sleepless nights and long days creating the Egyptian-inspired gold-and-black cape with intricate embellishments; as well as a hologram-fabric black jacket and bodysuit; a collegiate-style embellished yellow hoodie with “BAE” written on the front; a camouflage and mesh minidress; and a top decorated with a 2018 Beyoncé crest that shows a bee, a raised fist, a panther, and an Egyptian goddess.”
Over the course of those few weeks, he flew back and forth to Los Angeles to work alongside Beyoncé and her team during rehearsals, ensuring that the clothes didn’t compromise the intricate, energetic choreography that drives every single Beyoncé performance.
“B is a perfectionist,” Rousteing says. “If I am being totally transparent, it is very, very rare in this kind of process to have so much communication with the artist and the ones closest to her on her team. I was able to be in the room with her and she would give me direct feedback about how the lighting should hit the clothes, what the music had to emphasize about each look—I never had to guess what to do next.”
I think we can all conclude that it was a job well done.