Olivier Rousteing on Dressing Beyoncé in Balmain for Coachella 2018
Rousteing not only worked in close contact with Senofonte, but also with “B,” as he calls her, and her entire creative team. He flew out to Los Angeles to be a part of the rehearsals, making sure that the clothes moved well for the complex choreography and that every outfit change was precise and well executed. “B is a perfectionist,” Rousteing says. “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.” Though he has worked with Beyoncé before, on her 2016 tour costumes, and has collaborated with an impressive roster of celebrities that includes Frank Ocean and Kim Kardashian-West (not to mention brands and organizations like Victoria’s Secret and the Paris Ballet), he emphasizes how different and intimate this experience was for him. “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.” He adds, “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.”
Rousteing believes that these couture pieces for Beyoncé will go down in music history, not only because of the immense amount of work that went into them but also because they highlight the dynamism of the performances themselves. Still, despite the glamour and excess involved in this collaboration, Rousteing’s favorite memory was a much quieter one. “I think the thing I will always remember is sitting on the floor with B and cutting fabric,” he says fondly. “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.” Blue did not officially give her approval on the Coachella ensembles, but her father, Jay-Z, did. “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.”
Below, an exclusive look at Beyoncé’s custom Balmain wardrobe for her epic Coachella 2018 performances.