At the mention of the name ‘Beyoncé’ as headliner of a concert, the best bet you can go for is with her costume to be worn on stage. Years have gone by, loaded with concerts she has performed at, but the undisputed fact of them all is the costume Beyoncé mounts a stage with.
For the Global Citizen Festival held in South Africa last Sunday, December 2, a decade after the death of Nelson Mandela in his honor, Beyoncé debuted five outfits with most popular ones been Balmain and Versace ensembles. However, the most revered one among them all was the Mary Katrantzou body, thigh-high boots and sweeping cape dress neatly stitched together with all 54 African countries fully represented on.
Although not a Met Gala season, but a call from Beyoncé for a stage costume demanded a bit of urgency, since she runs the world in her own merit. Speaking to Vogue about the All Africa countries made ensemble, Katrantzou disclosed, “We wanted the outfit to represent both Beyoncé’s energy and grace on stage, while celebrating the diversity of Africa. We first mapped out the continent on her, creating a floral patchwork that was printed on a sequin base and then hand-embroidered it with Swarovski crystals.”
Seeing the perfection in its shadow before Beyoncé wore it to give it life, the time of its making alone lasted a month and took the creative efforts and thinking of extra hands to make it what we saw last Sunday. “I worked closely with creative director Jenke Ahmed, who wanted it to be about Mother Africa and female empowerment,” says Katrantzou. “As soon as we got the go-ahead, the entire team gave Beyoncé all our love and attention.”
Chosen as a designer to design for one of the biggest pop-star singers of all time, you feel nothing less but honored to have been shortlisted, Katrantzou shared with vogue, “I was honored to be chosen as a female designer. To say she’s a hero of mine is an understatement, she means so much to so many of us around the world. After all, she ‘runs the world.’
By: Larry Adams