Lemonade dropped this past weekend and while mine, Jay-Z’s, and a solid population of edges are sitting in an intensive care unit, I couldn’t help but hone in on the style gift that has been bestowed upon us by Beyoncé. Let’s get into it, shall we?
1. The Cornrows, Twists, and All Manner of Braid
Let me begin by addressing the hair in Sorry. Black and African hairstyles throughout the visual album is impossible to miss. As scholar Ayana Byrd notes, “the act of braiding, transmits cultural values between generations”. That’s all well and good, but let it be known that Bey had the audacity to switch between cornrows, twists, individuals, and French braids using no less than 100,000 packs of 7A Ombre Brazilian Body Wave bundles in what looks to be the SAME VIDEO SHOOT. #Dead.
2. The Maxi Mini African Print Mix
Now, I know the Zuvaa Pop Up Shop in Washington, D.C. was just a couple weekends ago, but we are all still recovering from the black femme magic that occurred, as we all descended upon the Dashiki peplum tops, Kwame ties, and Ankhmina II earrings. But it looks like we aren’t the only ones in the states feeling the Ankara, Kente, and Kitenge prints. Beyoncé pairs her dress with a pair of cowboy boots for the most African-American ass outfit I’ve seen in probably forever.
3. The Yellow Gown
Beyoncé is no stranger to golds and yellows, but I think she may have outdone herself with the gown centered in, Hold Up. Judging from this and New York Fashion Week coverage, canary yellow and golden yellows will be huge this summer. This is thrilling news, as yellows and golds look stunning on brown skin. Take that Pantone Colors of the Year! Now, someone get me a pair of platform slingbacks and a baseball bat so I can set it off.
4. The Fur Coat
Vegans cover your ears for the remainder of this bullet point. Three words: Long Sleeved Fur. I am choosing to believe this coat is a vintage heirloom passed down to Bey after the emergence of Princess Blue Ivy Carter with all the love and admiration of Mama Tina with a card reading, “We’re doing everything correctly.” Combined with Jack White vocals and high-waisted capris holding onto her hips like they know what’s up, at this point I’m clinging to my waist trainer for dear life. (*Side note: yes, I burst into tears when Malcolm X declares the most disrespected person in America is the Black woman and yes, I am not sorry).
5. The Lyrical Madness
In the past six days, I have been blessed to be invited to two screenings, three discussions, a brunch and a conference call to process and celebrate responses to Lemonade. Forget side shaves, the ultimate femme flag is a glittering shellac manicured hand clutching The First Cities. Lemonade features a bevy of writers, including Beyoncé herself, Wynter Gordon, Boots and Warsan Shire, the latter of whom is responsible for the spoken word interludes throughout the visual album. Suffices to say, Queen Bey is one gee damn heck of a creative director!