What happens when the reigning prince of fashion gets a request to dress Queen Bey for her takeover of one of the most famous music festivals in the world? You get some major fashion moments to go along with all of that amazing music.
Olivier Rousteing, creative director of Balmain, turned heads during Paris Fashion Week with his militaristic take on glamour for fall 2018. Stylist Marni Senofonte was especially impressed, approaching Rousteing to create custom looks for
Beychella Beyoncé’s groundbreaking Coachella appearance—Bey being the first woman of color to ever headline the event. As Rousteing, both the youngest and first person of color to ever head a major French fashion house, told Vogue:
Marni told me that the shows were all about survivors and that B was looking for something in a military style. Our silhouettes and our sort of Mad Max, futuristic take on military looks for Fall were a perfect fit.
Of course, it was likely a bit of déjà vu for the designer, who also collaborated with Bey and her team on costumes for her 2016 Formation World Tour. This time, Rousteing gave us iconic looks ranging from Egyptian queen to homecoming queen (I think it’s safe to say we all want bedazzled Greek-lettered monogram hoodies now).
The head of the #BalmainArmy also designed for a veritable army onstage, including former Destiny’s Child members Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams, fellow star and Knowles sister Solange, and approximately 200 dancers and band members. All this for a history-making performance over a year in the making (Beyoncé famously postponed last year’s appearance due to her pregnancy with twins Sir and Rumi).
It was a magical marriage of music and fashion, pulled together in a mere few weeks and including some incredible details, like the dazzling custom crest Rousteing created for the mesh top worn in Beyoncé’s “Déjà Vu” performance, which incorporated a bee, a panther, a raised fist and an Egyptian goddess. According to Rousteing, his collaboration with Beyoncé’s stylist was intense but intimate:
“By the end it felt like Marni and I were in a relationship,” he told Vogue. “We went to bed texting and emailing one another and woke up doing the same.”
And as for outfitting the world’s biggest star? Rousteing gave it due diligence, traveling to Los Angeles to attend rehearsals and ensure that his designs would hold up during Bey’s vigorous stage routine. As told to Vogue:
B is a perfectionist. She has such a distinct vision for fashion and for her music, I really learned a lot from this experience and from watching her work in those rehearsals. ... 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.
But in the process of creating looks that may one day end up on display in a museum, Rousteing also caught a more intimate side of the star, telling Vogue:
I think the thing I will always remember is sitting on the floor with B and cutting fabric. Blue comes in and runs over to B, and B holds her in her arms while talking to us about the cuts and silhouettes. To me, it was just such a beautiful moment because here you are with this megastar but also, she is a strong woman and a loving momma to her daughter.
And as for the other half of perhaps the world’s most famous couple? According to Rousteing, upon seeing one of the creations, Mr. Carter instantly recognized his wife for the queen she is:
Jay saw the Egyptian goddess cape and when B put it on, his eyes went wide and he was so excited, he said, “Oh, wow!” That gave me a lot of satisfaction.
And the best part? We’ve still got another Beychella performance on deck for next Saturday and more Balmain to drool over. Stay tuned and sexy, Glow Up gang ...