Columns on fashion, culture and ideas

Women's Fashion / Vintage Style

Beyoncé

In this column, AnOther takes a retrospective look at the style icons of the past

Beyoncé backstage
Beyoncé backstage Courtesy of iam.beyonce.com

Dressed in a figure-hugging black leather body, knee high boots and gloves against a kaleidoscope backdrop of pyrotechnics, body doubles and sparkling guitars, Beyonce’s Superbowl performance was, to use the only appropriate word, fierce.

Dressed in a figure-hugging black leather body, knee high boots and gloves against a kaleidoscope backdrop of pyrotechnics, body doubles and sparkling guitars, Beyoncé’s Superbowl performance was, to use the only appropriate word, fierce. Gyrating body swivels, her husband rapping from the wings and a lyrical journey through the past 15 years, culminating in a Destiny’s Child reunion where Kelly and Michelle shot up through trap doors in the stage.

Her outfit was designed by lesser-known couturier Rubin Singer, who previously worked for Oscar De La Renta. He has also been responsible for previous bedazzled stage outfits including the sequin bodysuit worn for her Las Vegas New Year performance.

Beyoncé’s style has evolved from top hats and spandex crop tops in Destiny’s Child, reportedly crunching 1000 sit-ups a day, to couture red carpet gowns, designed by the likes of Thierry Mugler, Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad. Despite her when-in doubt-sparkle mantra, her blinged-out look has eased off in recent years, to be replaced by streamline Cavalli and Lanvin. There was also her retro Foxy Cleopatra moment circa Austin Powers and her Motown Dreamgirls look. Many of her early stage outfits were made by her mother, Tina Knowles, who still remains her stylist.

"Dressed in a figure-hugging black leather body and knee high boots, Beyoncé’s Superbowl performance was, to use the only appropriate word, fierce"

Her onstage presence can largely be credited to her ‘Beyoncé Booty’, which has built as great a following in recent years as Beyonce herself. Numerous twitter accounts, Tumblrs and online pages are dedicated to the cause and the legendary ‘Bootylicious’ body shake made infamous in the video for Crazy in Love.

Perhaps what sets Beyoncé truly apart however is that, underneath the big hair, pop-locks and body-rolls, she has her head on straight. Without having to quote many of her song lyrics, it is clear that she has always been a girl’s girl; ambitious, independent and an emblem of female empowerment: in her own words, “I don’t want to be a hot girl, I want to be iconic.”

Text by Mhairi Graham

Mhairi Graham is fashion writer at AnOther and AnOthermag.com. She also writes for The Financial Times and Wallpaper* and came runner-up in the 2011 Vogue Talent Contest.

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