Safe to say fashion journalists across all platforms have happily stopped whatever fashion week-related article they were writing upon seeing Beyonce’s new film Black is King. Furthermore, I can imagine this vividly, because I am one of them, ready to share with the world my ever-lasting love for everything Beyonce does, with a focus on the incredible fashion featured. Consequently, with a notebook and pen in hand, I was ready to fiercely fill up the pages with scribbled notes so that I could report back to the interwebs just how much I love the Black is King fashion.
Shifting the Global Perception of the Word ‘Black’
Beyoncé introduced the film on the day it released and emphasized the film’s significance, the purpose being to “Shift the global perception of the word, ‘Black’, which has always meant inspiration, love, strength, and beauty to me,” the Queen said.
Beyoncé collaborated with a diverse group of directors, musicians, actors, designers, and other creatives worldwide “to re-imagine the story of the Lion King.” She continued, “The narrative unfolds through music videos, fashion, dance, beautiful natural settings and raw, new talent.” The film was shot all over the world which, in Beyonce’s words, “Started in my back yard… from my house to Johannesburg [South Africa], Ghana to London to Belgium to the Grand Canyon…” and was a year in the making.
A Glimmer of Hope Amidst a World of Chaos
Even for someone like Beyoncé, being the brilliant, creative mind she is, the premiere of Black is King certainly has impeccable timing. Furthermore, she even said it herself, that there was no way she could have imagined that the world, just one year later, would be turn upside down as a result of the racial pandemic we’re currently grappling.
“Black is King means Black is regal and rich; in history, in purpose and in language.”– Beyoncé
“We know the clothes often have a deeper personal meaning in Beyoncé’s films… Lemonade introduced legions of fans to avant-garde designers like B. Åkerlund, Hood by Air, and House of Malakai, and Black Is King [does] the same for Alon Livné.” (Vogue)
Lívné, an Israeli designer behind a handful of Beyonce’s outfits recalled the time when Zerina Akers, Beyoncé’s, stylist, reached out to him six months ago about “a really big project, but she couldn’t tell me much else,” he says. “I’ve made a couple looks for Beyoncé’s tours, but that was nothing like this, which [involved] working step-by-step with the stylists and creating something from scratch,” he told Vogue. “It was amazing. It felt super, super creative.” (Vogue)
“The way Beyoncé dresses is always very high-end and special, especially in the last few years…for her, it isn’t just about feeling sexy or looking good—it’s about the inspiration [behind the look] and the ideas, and it’s become very high-concept, which I really like.”-Alon Livné, as told to Vogue
Fashion’s Role in Beyonce’s Iconic Imagery
It’s an understatement to say that fashion has always been a monumental pillar of memorable moments in Beyoncé’s films. Fashion has played a huge part in her iconic imagery. Unsurprisingly, we can easily point out the ‘eras’ throughout her career just by an outfit. For example, take for instance the white tank top á la Crazy in Love, the reinvention of the body suit from the Sasha Fierce Era debuting with Single Ladies. Or the sheer black dress she flounced around on the beach in Drunk in Love or the saffron Roberto Cavalli gown she donned as she smashed a car in Lemonade. Alas, we can’t forget her epic puffed sleeves, long braids, and larger-than-life hats we saw in Formation. The list goes on.
It’s an understatement to say that Black is King has cancelled fashion week. The storytelling accompanied by the gorgeously stylized presentation of Afrocentric fashion has been a remedy for all of us. The film is the key to a magical, stylized, all-things-Beyonce sanctuary we can retreat to for healing during such unprecedented times. (Vogue) We couldn’t be more grateful.
Our Favorite Looks from Black is King
Animal Prints with a Glamorous Twist
A Twist on Traditional Cotillion
A Tribute to Her Ancestral Roots in Traditional African Garb
Gleamy, Sparkly Masterpieces that Add to the Magical Allure that is Beyonce
Written by Roya Ansari, edited by Jennifer Karami