Beyoncé added one epic cape and a number of iconic looks to her wardrobe with her Coachella headlining set on Saturday night (April 14), and the designer behind them, Olivier Rousteing, worked directly with his muse to make sure they were exactly what she — and the music — needed.
Rousteing is known for Balmain’s intricate, bedazzled garments, as they take up prime space in the closets of Kim Kardashian, Frank Ocean and scores of other celebrities who rep the French fashion house on red carpets the world over. In an interview with Vogue, Rousteing opened up about his process, which involved working super closely with Beyoncé — or “B,” as he calls her — and attending rehearsals to make sure the outfits were fitting correctly for Beyoncé and the hundred-plus dancers and musicians who joined her for the performance.
“B is a perfectionist,” Rousteing told Vogue. “She has such a distinct vision for fashion and for her music, I really learned a lot from this experience and from watching her work in those rehearsals … If I am being totally transparent, it is very, very rare in this kind of process to have so much communication with the artist and the ones closest to her on her team. I was able to be in the room with her and she would give me direct feedback about how the lighting should hit the clothes, what the music had to emphasize about each look—I never had to guess what to do next.”
He added that the Coachella challenge was a different challenge for him, and that he and Beyoncé worked so intimately that it was a completely different experience than their previous collaborations. (Rousteing also designed the costumes for 2016’s Formation World Tour.)
Both JAY-Z — who joined Beyoncé onstage to perform their duet, “Deja Vu” — and their daughter, Blue Ivy, checked out the Coachella clothes throughout the design process as well.
“I think the thing I will always remember is sitting on the floor with B and cutting fabric,” he continued. “Blue comes in and runs over to B, and B holds her in her arms while talking to us about the cuts and silhouettes. To me, it was just such a beautiful moment because here you are with this megastar but also, she is a strong woman and a loving momma to her daughter… Jay saw the Egyptian goddess cape and when B put it on, his eyes went wide and he was so excited, he said, ‘Oh, wow!’ That gave me a lot of satisfaction.”