Beyoncé dropped her latest album 10 days ago. “Lemonade” is a dozen songs plus a 60-minute movie. But it’s also a glimpse into the trendsetter’s style.
Marni Senofonte, a stylist who has worked with Beyoncé since 2007, oversaw the creation of outfits for the “Lemonade” visual album, showcasing a range of looks.
Here, she talks about what’s behind their fashion choices.
1. Choosing the looks
It was a huge mix of high fashion and low fashion. I’ve done that a lot with Beyoncé. Like in the “7/11” video, I mixed Forever 21 leggings with a Givenchy sweatshirt. There was a heavy presence of Gucci in the visual album, as well, because the Gucci tapestries all kind of lent themselves to this Victorian, antebellum, reformation vibe we were in.
2. The New Orleans influence
If you look at the visual album, you will see an African influence that touches on her heritage, where she comes from. There is that vibe, and then we were talking about New Orleans and the plantations in Louisiana and whatnot. Beyoncé told me that in New Orleans – I don’t know what the year was – black women were not allowed to show their hair. So that’s where those head wraps came from. So you make these beautiful creations as kind of like, “OK, you don’t want us to show our hair, watch what we are going to do.”
3. The Victorian influence
We were thinking about being on those plantations at the time of her ancestors and what they would have worn. At the time, there was slavery, so it wasn’t about that. It was about looking at these beautiful women that came from Africa and accentuating this beautiful culture and beautiful people. That’s why I didn’t want to do costume-shop stuff, because that doesn’t look rich and regal. I was focused on making sure that everybody looked, well, rich.
4. The inspiration
We always start with inspiration boards, and Beyoncé comes with so much inspiration. ... She’s definitely heavily involved in all of her visuals. There was a lot of African print and gold. Royal, regal African images. There was a lot of white, antebellum vibes and hats and collars, vintage Gaultier and McQueen.
5. The influence on fashion?
It was funny, because when we were down in New Orleans in November and even December and January, we were, like, this Victorian vibe just feels right. And then in February, when we were starting to see the collections, the Balmain . . . everything just started to look like what we were doing. Unbeknown to us, it is already there. So we were kind of on point.