While it was disappointing that Beyoncé, Jay-Z and the ever-adorable Blue Ivy skipped the Grammys’ red carpet, that disappointment was lessened by Beyoncé’s ensemble — she looked flawless and sent an important political message.
Bey donned a dramatic velvety number designed by Nicolas Jebran, topped off by a chic chapeau and a requisite white rose to show her support for the Voices of Entertainment initiative. At first glance, the gown choice seems obvious — it’s velvet, it has some spicy high slits, and it’s black — but it’s a one-of-a-kind, and Jebran created every detail to keep the traditions of social justice top of mind.
Beyoncé has referenced the Black Panther movement of the ’60s several times in her own body of work — such was the inspiration for her iconic visual album, Lemonade — and Jebran told Vogue that he channelled the strength of that movement in his design, which took 100 hours to complete. “The idea was to create a moment, a memorable design with meaning because it’s more than just a gown,” says Jebran, who also outfitted Bey for the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards.
“I love the dramatic slits and touches of sheer [fabric]. My favourite element [was] the bold, broad shoulders because they symbolize power,” says Jebran. Beyoncé completed the ensemble with a sculptural hat (also by Jebran), cat-eye shades by Alain Mikli, Jimmy Choo heels, and an insane set of sparkle provided by Lorraine Schwartz (the pair of dangling earring contained 70 carats of diamonds), plus a custom Judith Leiber purse to top it all off.
There’s nothing quite like a simultaneous fashion/political statement, and Beyoncé undoubtedly slayed this one.