Beyonce’s ‘Renaissance’ Will Last Forever
The photos on her social media are designed to evoke these emotions in concrete ways — in the form of bodysuits, disco balls, holographic horses and dazzling saddles. If the music is a tribute to unrestrained movement, the still image is steeped in fashion history, high-maintenance glamour and perfectionism — perhaps not the old-fashioned version Beyonce shunned in her letter, but still a kind of Harsh rigor.
There is a lot of work in these looks.
First: there are bodysuits. But of course there are also tights. Is there an extended Beyonce moment that doesn’t feature? No, no. They are her signature. her uniform. They should be renamed Bey-suits.
There are glittery and molded ones, and one that’s really just a little silver chain and rhinestones. In one portrait, she sits akimbo in a black lace Alaïa bodysuit, looking directly at the viewer, lips slightly parted. This is also a signature. In almost every photo, she stares at the viewer with her mouth slightly open. This default expression gives each photo a similar emotional tone.
Beyonce in still images isn’t as fun as Beyonce in motion. Her silence doesn’t tell the story. She doesn’t capture as much eye contact in the shutter sound. Whether she’s holding a broken bottle as if she’s fending off an unruly bar mate, or holding up an old-fashioned glass as if she’s signaling the waiter to refresh her drink. She’s showing Beyonce. But never mind. This is always more than enough.
There was more Alaïa on display in the form of a custom acid green lace dress with Mongolian lamb trim. There’s also a Gucci silver satin velvet gown with winged sleeves from Dolce & Gabbana and a red puffy cropped jacket. Mugler’s western hat and red-soled stilettos, corset and silver horn corset are reminiscent of the entire “Too Funky” video from 1992, in which designer Thierry Mugler collaborated with George Michael, which is likely one of seven times Fashion and Music Collaboration Summit.
Wide shoulders, slinky lines and unabashedly sexy provocations evoke the 1970s and early 1990s, when fashion shifted from ominous sexiness to dazzling ostentation. Costumes indulge in the shrewd confidence of Grace Jones and the sexual provocation of Madonna. Strong glamour reminiscent of drag balls and drag queens. The pose is reminiscent of the fashion photography of Helmut Newton and Jean-Paul Goode.
Beyoncé knelt on the ground with a gilded saddle on her back, echoing Newton’s “Saddle I”. She wore a silver Gucci dress with one breast almost exposed, reminiscent of his portrait, and Paloma Picasso in a Karl Lagerfeld topless dress. And a disco horse. Beyonce sat on it, wearing chains and spikes, and a white hat.It’s reminiscent of a pop culture moment in 1978, when Bianca Jagger rode into Studio 54 on a white horse, helping cement the nightclub’s reputation as an era non-plus super A place of decadence and debauchery.
Totally dedicated to the flickering joy of that period — or at least soft memories of it. Then, despite—perhaps because of—dire circumstances, the joy came out. In the face of the AIDS epidemic, homophobia, economic crises and horrific crime statistics, the dance has endured. There are many things to be afraid of. So, in the wake of pandemic lockdowns, civil unrest, and attempted uprisings, Beyoncé delivers vibrant, happy music. After years of sweatpants and yoga pants and wearing them from just above the waist, she’s also showing her viewers in style, spitting out polish, tightening, and exhaustion. She worked hard on those corsets and stilettos.
It’s politically correct to think she’s showing strength and female empowerment with her pie and seam stockings. After all, Beyoncé has educated the culture and music industry on what it means to embrace one’s success and power. Her lessons especially resonated with some black women. But there’s no denying that the pictures also express the joy of the male gaze — as well as the female gaze, the gender-neutral gaze and the gaze of anyone who wants to see it.
The clothes tell a tumultuous tale of a pop culture era when people were determined to have fun.and when they did have a good time. despite this.