Thursday, February 9, 2017

Beyoncé Brings Black Girl Magic to the VMAs

When Beyoncé steps onto a red carpet the world stops, so it would have been enough for her to simply arrive at the VMAs in a designer gown and call it a night. But pop music’s queen doesn’t do anything by halves, and when it came time for music’s most outrageous night she brought her whole squad along for the ride. Beyoncé stepped onto the white carpet in a sparkling Francesco Scognamiglio Couture dress with her daughter, Blue Ivy Carter, in tow (and in tulle), flanked by a host of supporters including collaborators from her Lemonade visual album. Model Winnie Harlow; Beasts of the Southern Wild star Quvenzhané Wallis; YouTubers Chloe and Halle Bailey; and her latest protégé, Ingrid, all joined Queen B as she made her way into Madison Square Garden, as did activist Lezley McSpadden (the mother of Michael Brown), who was joined by the mothers of Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin, and Oscar Grant.
Mixing artistic messages with political ones has become part of Beyoncé’s M.O., and her lineup of powerful black women from all walks of life provided a powerful statement for a night that all too often can be all style and no substance. Which isn't to say that there wasn't style in spades: from Blue Ivy in shimmering ruffles–and child-size Giuseppe Zanotti slippers–Beyoncé sporting a ruff of sea foam marabou, and the Bailey sisters' Rodarte and intricate feathered jewelry, the group didn’t look like celebrities hitting up an event, they seemed like fantastical royalty. Given the surreal nature of Beyoncé’s Lemonade visuals and her understanding of what makes a powerful image, the clash of colors and prints on the carpet was likely meant to channel something bigger than another celebrity photo op—perhaps drawing our attention to what really matters, for one?—and it succeeded masterfully.

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