Queen Bey celebrates Africa with 11 outfit changes from designers all over the world.
Beyoncé might only be voicing Nala in the new adaptation of The Lion King, but this hasn’t stopped her from serving some serious looks in the process.
To celebrate the new film, the pop star has released a music video for her new song, Spirit. This is part of the 14-track album called The Lion King: The Gift, which will be released on Friday and features collaborations with everyone from Pharrell Williams to Childish Gambino.
In an interview with GMA, Beyoncé, 37, said: “This soundtrack is a love letter to Africa and I wanted to make sure we found the best talent from Africa, and not just use some of the sounds and did my interpretation of it”, adding that “the soundtrack becomes visual in your mind”.
However, you don’t have to just imagine the soundtrack, because the accompanying video is incredibly cinematic. It’s already amassed over 1.5 million views on YouTube since going live yesterday – and in it Queen Bey makes an impressive 11 outfit changes.
Here’s the low-down on all of the major looks Beyoncé serves in Spirit…
The Valentino gown
Beyoncé opens the video in a regal lilac and red gown from Valentino’s most recent haute couture collection. Better still, her daughter Blue Ivy soon appears wearing a matching purple chiffon dress – which is definitely not the first time the duo have twinned in their fashion choices.
The royal blue dress
To film one of the scenes, Beyoncé shut down Havasu Falls in Arizona. Her team got permission from the Havasupai Tribe to do so, and according to USA Today, Muriel Uqualla, chairwoman of the Havasupai Tribal Council, said in a statement: “By choosing that location, it will serve to further celebrate and honour the natural beauty of our land and the resilience and beauty of our people. Knowing that Beyoncé advocates for the preservation of water rights around the world, we were particularly pleased to be able to accommodate her request.”
While we don’t know who this dress is by, Beyoncé certainly honoured the backdrop in an electric blue form-fitting gown, with a hood and a lot of bangles for that extra bit of drama.
The monochromatic Tongoro outfit
The video is a tribute to Africa, so it’s unsurprising Beyoncé would wear an African designer like Tongoro. She had an outfit custom-made by the brand, which resulted in a graphic, black-and-white suit and durag, with accompanying earrings and face piece.
This isn’t the first time Beyoncé has worn Tongoro, the label helmed by Sarah Diouf. All of the brand’s clothes are made in its atelier in Senegal.
The Shahar Avnet gown
For one of the more ethereal outfits in the video, Beyoncé chose a hot pink gown by Israeli designer Shahar Avnet. It’s floaty and voluminous; very much on trend at the moment.
The ruffled bodycon Mark Fast dress
London-based knitwear designer Mark Fast is known for his sexy, bodycon dresses, which is the perfect fit for Beyoncé. She chose an outfit mixing darker and lighter greens, matching the natural backdrop she was filming in.
The stretchy yellow outfit
This experimental bright yellow dress came from Norma Kamali. Beyoncé played with its stretchy material and the attached sleeves for one of the dance sequences.
The red macramé
The red macramé (knotted rope) outfit is by Déviant La Vie, who makes “erotic rope lingerie”. The designer was obviously thrilled at being included in the video, writing on Instagram: “I’m in tears!!!!! Y’all have no idea how hard I prayed for this opportunity!!! To be apart of such a beautiful project will forever be the highlight of my life!!”
Fashion Instagram accounts like Diet Prada noted this outfit looked like a nod to the iconic red macramé dresses from last year’s remake of the film Suspiria, starring Dakota Johnson.
The pearl and shell ensemble
One of the more elaborate looks of the video is this embroidered cowrie shell and pearl gown with a harness. The dress is by Alexandrine Haute Couture, and the shell work is by Alex Navarro in collaboration with Laurel DeWitt.
The ivory fringe coat
You can tell Beyoncé was big into textures and movement when deciding on the style for this video. This ivory fringe coat is from the brand Hyun Mi Nielsen, where creative director Christine Nielsen has experience at big labels like Givenchy, Balenciaga and Alexander Wang.
The fringed Laurel DeWitt bodysuit
The custom Laurel DeWitt blue bodysuit is one of the most heavily featured of the video – and you can see why, because the fringing moves dramatically when Beyoncé dances. DeWitt specialises in metalwork, and wrote on Instagram: “#LionKing has always been one of my favorite movies and Beyoncè is my favorite artist so this is beyond a dream come true.”
The red dress
Unfortunately, this is the only other look we couldn’t get a positive ID on. In terms of style, it’s very much in Beyoncé’s wheelhouse, and bright red matches the colour palette of the video’s fashion as a whole.