A year after Beyoncé was originally set to take the stage at Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, Calif., the pop star finally made history Saturday night as the first black female to headline the event.
During a more than two-hour-long set that closed out the night on the festival’s main stage, Queen Bey delivered an electrifying performance of her greatest hits, backed by a hundred singers and dancers, and a drumline. The show also featured surprise appearances by her husband, Jay-Z, sister Solange, and a 20th anniversary reunion with her former Destiny’s Child group mates, Kelly Rowland and Michelle Williams.
Topping it all off were five dazzling outfit changes featuring custom looks by Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing created in collaboration with Beyoncé’s stylist, Marni Senafonte, and the singer herself. Rousteing also designed the looks worn by the backup dancers and musicians.
According to an exclusive interview with Vogue, Senafonte approached the designer with the idea following his fall 2018 show in early March. Working closely with the singer and stylist to conceive the show wardrobe, Rousteing traveled from Paris to Los Angeles for rehearsals to ensure the looks were compatible with the choreography and to fine-tune the outfit changes.
“I doubt that I will ever forget the joy of working with her and her team — or the awe I felt watching Beyoncé masterfully direct her onstage troops or the beauty of listening to that extraordinary voice as she rehearsed,” Rousteing said in a press release.
Beyoncé, who postponed last year’s performance after becoming pregnant with twins (Sir and Rumi were born in June), kicked off the set in a glittering Queen Nefertiti-inspired look, comprised of a crystal-bedecked body suit and cape, complete with feather headdress.
“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,” Rousteing told Vogue.
Additional costumes included a latex body suit and jacket with thigh-high boots and garters, and the three custom sequined looks worn by Beyoncé, Williams and Rowland for their performance of Destiny’s Child hits such as “Lose My Breath” and “Say My Name.”
At one point, Beyoncé also sported a yellow hoodie monogrammed with what appeared to be the Greek letters Beta Delta Kappa (the start of a Beyoncé sorority, perhaps?), paired with denim cutoffs and custom, iridescent fringe Christian Louboutin boots. The collegiate sweater was viewed by many as a nod to historically black colleges and universities, one of the many black-culture themes that resonated throughout the performance. (Beyoncé opened the show with a rendition of “Lift Every Voice And Sing,” commonly known as the black national anthem.)
Rousteing rounded out the looks with a black mesh T-shirt emblazoned with a sequined crest for the mother of three, featuring a silhouette of Queen Nefertiti, a bee (a symbol of Beyoncé’s fans, dubbed the Beyhive), and a raised fist and a black panther — the latter two symbols of black pride and the singer’s support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
Can’t get enough of Balmain’s one-of-a-kind Beyoncé looks? You’re in luck. Rousteing has designed a separate wardrobe for the star’s Weekend Two performance at Coachella on April 21.