Indiana Daily Student

Beyoncé’s ‘Lemonade’ video and Formation Tour disconnect in fashion

Beyonce backstage at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015.
Beyonce backstage at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015.

It’s a casual week for Beyoncé when she drops an album, debuts a video and embarks on a world tour in a matter of five days.

The album “Lemonade” — which interlaces aggressive vocals and spoken word — battles issues of infidelity, racism and, most importantly, the modern-day struggles of black women. The accompanying HBO visual album and world tour look to interpret that sound by harnessing her words into the film, presentation and, of course, fashion.

But while the visual album showcased the sartorial revival of Beyoncé as a woman, Wednesday’s opening show of the tour fell short, allowing her style to perform the glamour of Sasha Fierce rather than the subjection of a vulnerable human.

If there was one word to sum up the intricate cinematography of the video, humanity would fit the bill.

As Beyoncé writhed in the pains of inequality and discrimination, a dark-rimmed hat fell over her eyes and stacks of silver jewelry encased her neck.

When she threatened to leave her husband after his slew of affairs, an oversized fur coat was slung over her body and tight braids flew from her head.

And while she gleefully smashed car windows and fire hydrants with a “Hot Sauce” baseball bat, a ruffled mustard gown swayed with each step.

Whether a showcase of her confidence, vulnerability, despair or acceptance, the video’s fashion stipulated a fully realized wardrobe of the scorned woman.

As Hillary Clinton’s husband denied his affair with a White House intern, she stood behind him in solidarity, wearing a lemon-tart dress suit and sweet peach lipstick. Her passive color palette and traditional silhouette spoke a message of femininity, but one that was weak and dependent.

After being left by her husband and ridiculed for an extramarital pregnancy, Hester Prynne of “The Scarlet Letter” stood before her town with a scarlet “A” stitched to her chest. A scorned woman in every sense of the phrase, she was the very image of shame, disgrace and weakness.

But when Beyoncé’s video debuted with a woman of power and resilience, Beyoncé showed her wearing a Gucci printed pantsuit.

Sadly, the tour’s opening show didn’t continue on this theme.

Beyoncé, like many stars, has her specific concert costume, namely an adorned leotard and heeled thigh-high boots.

This staple shows off the Queen’s sexuality, confidence and classic image. In tandem her music has centered on similar ideas: female empowerment, self empowerment, #flawless, etc.

But this isn’t any ordinary album and consequently shouldn’t be any normal tour. The music’s serious tones and topics were mirrored in the video’s fashion choices, even if they were a style different from Beyoncé‘s norm.

After 60 minutes of these fashion choices, it seemed strange that they didn’t translate to the tour.

Of course a sequined leotard is always Beyoncé‘s to rock, but when the new music and visual album introduced us to this new style of woman, I had hoped she would stick around.

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