Elie Saab and Pharrell Williams: Beyonce taps big-name designers for Renaissance tour

The singer steps out in catsuits, couture and everything in between

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Beyonce certainly knows how to up the ante, be it in the realm of music or fashion.

For her Renaissance tour, which kicked off in Stockholm in May, the Run the World singer has been taking to the stage in a parade of custom-made outfits.

Far from a standard wardrobe made to survive a gruelling five-month tour, Beyonce's seemingly endless display of show-stopping looks has delighted fans.

Calling on some of the biggest fashion houses in the world, Queen Bey has performed in Gucci, Alexander McQueen, Valentino, Loewe and Schiaparelli.

The French house of Balmain, headed by Olivier Rousteing, has also created multiple looks for the high-octane performer, including a shaggy silver coat and a futuristic corset in quilted red leather, as well as a bodysuit seemingly made from metal.

Dutch designer Iris van Herpen – best known for creating laser-cut pieces that are more sculpture than fashion – created an ethereal look complete with shimmering wings.

Designers in each city she is performing in have also been asked to summon up an outfit. In London the likes of David Koma and Mary Katrantzou stepped up, while in Marseilles, France, it was the turn of Simon Porte Jacquemus.

For the latest leg of the tour, in Detroit, she turned to none other than Pharrell Williams, the newly installed head of menswear for Louis Vuitton. Having created a catsuit made in the Vuitton Damier check for Beyonce, this is William's first major fashion moment since his debut in June.

Beyonce sat front row at the show, which shut down central Paris, used a bridge as the catwalk and had Jay Z perform an impromptu gig.

With each look custom-made for Beyonce, most tap into her signature style of bodysuit with long boots.

But there have been some delightfully unexpected outliers. Jewellery house Tiffany & Co created a look made from draped gold and silver chains, while Hong Kong label Robert Wun made a minidress out of a pinstriped suit jacket, trimmed with flounced ruffles.

Italian designer Del Core's offering came with a long cape covered in thousands of green crystals, while the American house of Carolina Herrera made a bodysuit with a giant red hood. At Loewe, Jonathan Anderson reworked a dress from the autumn / winter 2022 collection, by wrapping a crystal-strewn bodysuit in embroidered gloved hands.

Even Elie Saab and Georges Hobeika were asked to conjure up bespoke looks, with Saab opting for fragile, draped beads, while Hobeika crafted a catsuit from silver beading that twisted around Beyonce's legs.

As well as being a musical bonanza, the tour highlights how much Beyonce loves fashion.

By tapping all of her favourite designers – from Off-White, now headed by Ib Kamara, to Givenchy haute couture, led by Matthew M Williams, via edgy name Marine Serre and even her own brand Ivy Park – Beyonce is clearly enjoying dressing up in a new look each night.

Just as Taylor Swift keeps her Swifties on tenterhooks with unannounced guests every night, Beyonce is showcasing to the BeyHive a covetable new outfit with each performance.

Updated: July 31, 2023, 4:56 PM