Last year, Beyoncé announced her world tour — which the internet reacted with sheer excitement but also irony at the fact that her vision of a ‘world tour’ was once again limited to predominantly white countries, namely North America and Europe. While the visuals for her much-anticipated Renaissance tour had not been disclosed, Beyoncé gave us something even grander last March: a full haute couture collection in collaboration with Balmain’s creative director Olivier Rousteing. The collection presented 16 outfits that pair the 16 album’s tracks, serving glamour, glitter and full-on ballroom couture.
The time has arrived and Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour kicked off on Wednesday in Stockholm. Needless to say, it matched and even outperformed the expectations we’d pictured from the album’s promise and collaboration with Balmain: an ode to dance music bestowed in glamour and extravagance. For starters, Beyoncé appeared for the first time in front of the public with a bot on each side, which formed a frame around her, moving in synchrony with Queen Bey. Or the other way around. Whatever came first, the visual effect and overcharged stream of energy set the mood for an outstanding performance, celebrating the future of a more fluid society and, certainly, testifying to Queen Bey’s charisma, uniqueness nerve and talent.
Light and colour were prominent motifs, with multiple outfits featuring holographic or reflective treatments that enriched the visual aesthetic of the performance in line with the album’s essence. For instance, a dress by Japanese designer Anrealage changed colour when exposed to UV light. And so the show was ultimately a show of many things — Beyoncé first, followed by an array of different elements that reacted to each other telling stories on their own.
Working in collaboration with costume designer Shiona Turini, Queen BeY’s wardrobe was made up of pieces by Alexander McQueen, Dior, Mugler, Courrèges, Givenchy, Versace and Loewe — and many more but her collaboration with Balmain. Certainly, Mugler’s bodysuit, topped with a 1997-inspired bee headpiece, is among the most memorable ones as it corroborated Beyoncé’s position as queen bee along with her longstanding relationship with the fashion house.
There’s no doubt that Queen Bey is a showgirl, and now, after the first stop of the 57-show tour, it’s evident that Beyoncé is at the peak of her fashion era and that more fashion revelations will come the way, so stay tuned for more glitter couture looks.
*Header image: Beyoncé’s Renaissance cover art by Carlijn Jacobs