Beyoncé in Britain: ‘This isn't just a tour – it's a fashion tour de force’

beyonce renaissance tour wardrobe - Getty
beyonce renaissance tour wardrobe - Getty

In case you’ve been living under a rock, Beyoncé is on tour. It’s been seven years since the last one, and given the level of work and effort that’s gone into the styling of Renaissance alone, you can see why.

This being Beyoncé, it’s not just a tour, but a fashion tour de force – grander than any catwalk show. In fact, it could well set more trends than the catwalk, too. This is a woman who has sold 200 million records as a solo artist, not to mention the 60 million she sold as part of Destiny’s Child, so it’s safe to say that anything she wears will have an impact.

We’re seeing it already. Google data collected after the first night of the tour showed that searches for “metallic cowboy boots” were up by 488 per cent in comparison with the day prior, and “silver bodysuit” up by 426 per cent, according to fashion retailer Nasty Gal.

It’s not like we’re all going to turn up to weddings this summer in silver bodysuits, but a cultural moment like this will have a trickle-down effect on our wardrobes. It might be the reason you buy a silver pair of sandals rather than a brown pair, or silver jewellery in lieu of your usual gold.

beyonce renaissance tour - Getty
beyonce renaissance tour - Getty

But that’s further down the line. As far as Beyoncé is concerned, her Renaissance tour-drobe is pure theatre. It’s designed to captivate, engage and be memorable.

So let’s break it down: a 36-song set over the course of three hours, for which Beyoncé wears at least nine costumes – each a bespoke creation inspired by the catwalk, but amped up in order to hold its own in a vast arena. A checklist of star designers: Valentino, Courrèges, Mugler, Balmain (no surprise as the singer has co-designed a couture collection for the house).

Plenty of Tiffany & Co jewellery completes her looks, including a custom earpiece created by the jeweller with 64 Audio. That was an obvious pairing too, as Beyoncé and her husband Jay-Z have fronted an ad campaign for the brand. (There’s also some interest surrounding her hair, which is Rapunzel-like at the moment – and now we know why; on Wednesday she teased a Beyoncé haircare line on her Instagram feed).

Bringing it all together was not just one top stylist, but an army of A-list super-stylists, each overseeing a different look – among them Shiona Turini, KJ Moody and British Vogue contributing fashion director Julia Sarr-Jamois. Scroll on for the intricate details behind each show-stopping (figuratively speaking, that is) look.

The Alexander McQueen bodysuit

The show opens with an Alexander McQueen custom bodysuit and ankle boots (the outfit’s first appearance coming less than a week after the house dressed the Princess of Wales and Princess Charlotte – as well as a number of guests – for the Coronation of King Charles, and Elle Fanning for Cannes, too. To say that the label’s creative director, Sarah Burton, has been busy would be an understatement.

The look features silver bugle bead and crystal anatomical embroidery stitched by hand onto a black tulle base and is inspired by a piece from the autumn/winter 2023 collection. Burton was inspired by several different takes on anatomy when creating the collection: “Human anatomy, the anatomy of clothing, the anatomy of flowers,” she revealed in the show notes.

beyonce renaissance tour - Getty
beyonce renaissance tour - Getty

“The most prominent motif in the collection is the orchid. It thrives in the air, resists being rooted and grows in the wild. Extraordinarily beautiful and infinitely adaptable, the orchid mimics both predator and prey. In the language of flowers, the orchid is a symbol of love.”

Beyoncé has worn McQueen for important occasions for years, including her cover of British Vogue in 2020 and the Hollywood premiere of The Lion King in 2019. That she chose it as the opening look for Renaissance cements its status as one of her favourite labels.

The Mugler bee (for the Bey-hive)

An homage to Beyoncé’s ‘Bey-hive’ of fans, this look took inspiration from a 1997 Mugler couture collection, Les Insectes. The house spent a cumulative 820 hours creating the pieces, but until Beyoncé and her dancers stepped onto the stage in them, the team didn’t know if it had made the cut.


“I had already started to sketch before the call came in, as working on this tour was a top priority for us,” says Casey Cadwallader, who has been creative director of the house since 2017. “I flew to Stockholm for the opening night with my fingers crossed. When she appeared on stage in the bee, I was floored – it was the best feeling.”

The Valentino gown

This is one piece that did not start out on the catwalk; instead it was designed especially for Beyoncé and the Renaissance tour by the label’s creative director, Pierpaolo Piccioli, at the request of stylist Shiona Turini.

The making of it required 20 metres of ivory silk cady, 390,000 crystal rhinestones (of which at least 1,000 were applied by hand), and took a total of 30 hours to make. It’s representative of craft and painstaking detail that goes into a haute couture creation. It was completed by matching silver opera gloves, custom mirrored shoes by Malone Souliers and a hefty amount of Tiffany & Co jewellery.

beyonce renaissance tour - Live Nation
beyonce renaissance tour - Live Nation
beyonce renaissance tour wardrobe - Live Nation
beyonce renaissance tour wardrobe - Live Nation

The Courrèges body suit

Like Cadwallader, Courrèges creative director Nicolas Di Felice had no idea if his designs would end up on stage. “You never know when you work on such a huge project,” he told the Business of Fashion (BoF). “We worked on three variations of the design. There were three lengths and different colours.”

beyonce renaissance tour wardrobe - Getty
beyonce renaissance tour wardrobe - Getty

The look is true to the Courrèges signatures of 1960s futurism, and features the mirrored medallion that was a key feature of Di Felice’s autumn/winter collection. Completing the look were Gedebe thigh-high boots and Tiffany jewellery.

The Loewe handsy bodysuit

The tour featured two Loewe designs, one of which was a dazzling gold bodysuit with black arms wrapping the singer’s body. It’s a bespoke piece based on a velvet dress from the Loewe autumn/winter 2022 collection, designed by Jonathan Anderson.

The second look comprised an embellished bodysuit and cargo trousers in technical satin, with all-over appliqué silver Swarovski crystals, and a 3D-printed bra in a silver chrome finish.

beyonce renaissance tour wardrobe - Getty
beyonce renaissance tour wardrobe - Getty

The David Koma holographic jacket

This wasn’t David Koma’s first time at the rodeo; he has been designing for Beyoncé for more than a decade, and dressed her for her performance opening last year’s Academy Awards. “Beyoncé was the first celebrity to support my brand, wearing a dress from my graduate collection to MTV EMAs back in 2009,” the London-based designer says.

beyonce renaissance tour wardrobe - Getty
beyonce renaissance tour wardrobe - Getty

“The brief ended up being a natural fit for one of my recent collections, so we developed a custom look based on the ‘Underwater World’ story behind the spring/summer 2023 collection. That’s why you see the mother of pearl bodysuit and skirt paired with an incredible iridescent coat and boots.”

Koma still gets a ‘pinch me’ thrill, every time he sees the star in his designs: “No matter how many times we get to collaborate, every time I see Beyoncé in David Koma I am just as grateful,” he said.

The Balmain pearl cage

It’s no surprise that Balmain featured in the tour-drobe line-up, creative director Olivier Rousteing is a friend of Beyoncé’s, and recently collaborated with her on a couture collection – 16 pieces, each inspired by a track on the Renaissance album.

There are multiple Balmain pieces that she will wear for this tour, and thus far we’ve seen three: a custom caged pearl bodysuit, a mirrored and embellished mini dress, and a crystal and pearl embellished bodysuit.

Rousteing says Beyoncé’s music got his creative juices flowing after the pandemic. “Her spirit, tunes, commitments and messages pushed me to expand my fashion vision, triggering a tidal wave of new ideas, non-stop sketching and a hunger to experiment with new techniques,” he said.

The stained glass Anrealage dress

Most people outside the fashion industry will be unfamiliar with Japanese label Anrealage – and probably a number within it, too. But its Paris Fashion Week theatrics – in which white garments made from “experimental, photochromic materials” became washed with colour under UV light – evidently struck a chord with Turini, who commissioned a dress for the Renaissance tour.

The triangular panels are designed to resemble stained glass, but also borrow from Anrealage’s intricately patchworked garments. The styling, with white round sunglasses, lends the look a 1960s feel.

The Coperni finale

This Paris-based label was a perfect choice for Beyoncé’s finale look; its co-founders Sébastien Meyer and Arnaud Vaillant are masters in the art of the Fashion Moment – footage from the brand’s catwalk show last October went viral after the designers sprayed a dress onto supermodel Bella Hadid using a specially-formulated liquid fabric.

This look was inspired by a look from the autumn/winter 2023 collection, reimagined as a silver corseted bodysuit and a cape embroidered with laser-cut silver feathers that took more than 100 hours to hand-stitch in place.

Vaillant said that they also had to take into account Beyoncé’s needs as a performer. “She’s dancing and performing so she has to wear specific underwear, tights, bras,” he told BoF. “You have to have precise zippers so that it’s easy to take it down and take it off.”

What do you think of Beyoncé’s Renaissance tour looks? Please join the discussion in the comments below.