How to Dress Jay Z & Beyonce on Tour

The singer's stylist and the couple's go-to designers spill the details behind the duo's fiercest On the Run looks

Every night that fans pour into stadiums to watch Jay Z and Beyoncé's On the Run Tour, they're treated to hit singles from R&B's reigning queen and potent raps from hip-hop's king. It's a Super Bowl halftime-level show stretched out to 120 minutes: pyrotechnics, mind-blowing digital displays and glossy movie clips starring the pair as a bank-robbing, badass couple. Naturally the decadence continues through to their styling, with Mr. and Mrs. Carter dressed like street-chic royalty.

"The whole Bonnie and Clyde mobster love story was the overall approach," says Beyoncé's stylist Ty Hunter, who has worked with the star since her Destiny's Child days. For a modern, hyperstylized take on the bank robbers-on-the-lam theme, a collection of elite fashion houses were called upon, including Versace, Tom Ford, Givenchy, Alexander Wang, BLK DNM and Diesel.

The duo's show opens with "'03 Bonnie & Clyde" and Beyoncé in what might be the sexiest outfit a would-be criminal has ever worn: a custom long-sleeved Atelier Versace black bodysuit with a plunging neckline and a matching black sequined net headpiece. It's not the only one-piece she dons during the show. For "Yonce" she wears a long-sleeved Atelier Versace bodysuit that features a decidedly '90s-inspired combo of leopard print, Medusa heads and Greek keys. She completes the look with a black knit beanie that has a gold Medusa medallion on the front.

Playing on the current cutoffs craze, for "Run the World (Girls)," Diesel outfitted Beyoncé in a sexy jean short-shorts jumpsuit. "She loved our destroyed-denim feeling, so we focused on that," says Diesel creative director Nicola Formichetti, Lady Gaga's one-time stylist. "But it was important to be very light and comfortable because she has to perform daily. We used our knowledge of denim to create pieces in which she would be able to dance and move freely."

Hunter echoes the need for costumes that are performance-ready. After all, Beyoncé has no time to be tangled up in buckles and straps when she has to be onstage in mere seconds, ready to dance to "Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It)." Says Hunter: "Stern zippers are a must, and everything has to be quick-change friendly."

Jay Z's edgy, street-inspired looks mostly come courtesy of BLK DNM. The mogul has been a fan of the New York label for a while; he even wore its Leather Jacket 5 with the Gardar Eide Einarsson print on the back in the faux movie trailer for the On the Run Tour. For his stage performances, BLK DNM came up with additional custom graphic designs, which were printed onto leather jackets and vests. "Jay Z was very involved in the creative process," explains Mallory Passuite, BLK DNM director of marketing and PR, "from selecting the prints and color to choosing the exact super-soft, buttery lambskin we ended up using." The label smartly subbed in special lightweight linings for all the jackets so the rapper never overheats, even in leather.

When the two need to channel sportier looks, Jay opts for a Rodarte jersey emblazoned with 99, which he wears, appropriately, for "99 Problems." Beyoncé pops out for "Diva" in a cropped hooded bomber by Alexander Wang (paired with Wang's custom bodysuit and leather garter belt, it's also arguably one of her more BDSM-inspired styles).

As far as Hunter is concerned, the best look of the evening is Beyoncé's last, a noir sleeveless one-piece with a black-and-white stars-and-stripes train designed by Givenchy creative director Riccardo Tisci. Hunter loves it not for the reasons one might think: "It's my favorite because I know the show is over and we made it through."


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