Since Beyoncé dropped her highly-anticipated album Renaissance in July 2022, fans have eagerly awaited to celebrate along with the Grammy winner live at a concert. Yet, as with all things Beyoncé — whose knack for fashion has involved collaborations with Balmain, her own line with Adidas, and pop culture-defining red carpet moments — the stakes are high when it comes to Renaissance tour style.
Even more so because, up until the tour kicked off in Stockholm this May, fans had not been able to experience the aesthetic world of Renaissance. Unlike Beyoncé’s past albums, which were released alongside music videos, the singer has only dropped a video teaser for her song “I’m That Girl,” as well as the album cover, showing the star covered in rhinestones while sitting on a shining silver horse.
Without visuals, Renaissance tour attendees were left to seek inspiration from the album’s lyrics, sounds (which include house, reggaeton, and R&B among others), and references. At the concert in Stockholm, the world got a first look into how those transferred to real life. “Rhinestones, pearls, latex, shimmer suits, fans,” Mercedes Arielle, a Dallas-based creator who attended the first night of the Sweden stop, tells Refinery29 of the outfits she saw from the crowd. “People were like ‘We don’t need visuals, we can create our own.’”
A love letter to ballroom culture and queer expression, Beyoncé's seventh studio album finds itself at a unique crux of nostalgia and futurism that celebrates icons like Grace Jones and the ballroom commentator Kevin JZ Prodigy. While keeping this in mind, people on TikTok had debated for months what to wear to the tour. The search term “renaissance tour outfits” has grown to nearly 4 billion views on the app, with videos varying from reference images to get inspired for the concert to shopping hauls of silver metallic fashion — referencing the Renaissance cover art — and original creations made for the tour.
Fashion designer and the owner of the label Syckny Kayla Monroe, who is attending Beyoncé’s concert at New Jersey’s MetLife stadium, showed off a metallic breastplate she created inspired by the “I’m That Girl” video teaser, which featured Beyoncé wearing a similar bodysuit and knee-high boots. “I wanted to turn it into an ‘Alien Superstar’ kind of look,” says Monroe. The futuristic top, decorated with intricate rhinestone detailing along the chest and the bodice, nods to the song’s line “feed you diamonds and pearls.” It took the designer a total of 14 hours to make. Well, that’s 196 hours, if you count the other 13 orders she got from her TikTok video.
“I think that’s what made me more excited for the concert,” she says. “At first, I only made it for myself but [then] I said ‘You know what? I want to see everybody else enjoy this piece.”
While many of the show’s attendees are similarly wearing silver metallic pieces, from mini dresses styled with opera gloves to rhinestone-covered body chains and tinsel-embellished capes — prompting a spike of 488% in searches for “metallic cowboy boots” on Google — others have gone for the cowboy inspiration. The latter was no doubt prompted by the announcement photo for the tour, in which Beyoncé wore a disco ball-inspired cowboy hat from Etsy designer Abby Misbin.
Seattle-based fan Alliya Bojador, who traveled to Stockholm to see the opening show, made her own cowboy hat, using mosaic mirror tiles to decorate a plain Western style. “The original hat was a bit pricey, and it felt good to tell people I made it when they complimented it,” says Bojador, who paired the look with matching cowboy boots, a jewelled crop top, and a black skirt with rhinestone fringe. “I found that it [the tour announcement photo] was enough inspiration for me,” she says, adding that she wanted to look like a “disco cowgirl." Similarly, Charmaine Goodwin opted to make her own hat for the tour. "I love that aspect of Beyoncé being from Texas and that Black cowgirl style coming into play," says Goodwin, who is attending the Los Angeles show in September.
Meanwhile, longtime Beyoncé fan Arielle was inspired by the club aesthetic, describing her outfit as “disco-meets-Barbie loofah.” This translated into a pink ruffled bolero worn over a silver tank top and jeans featuring rhinestone embellished cut-outs, topped off with a metallic glasses-like accessory with rhinestone fringe. “I love bling but I wanted to do it in a less expected way,” she says. “I went more dressed down with denim.”
As the tour continues, Arielle says that she’s intrigued to see how other fans recreate the Renaissance aesthetic now that some of Beyoncé’s looks —which include custom Loewe, Balmain, and Alexander McQueen shimmering bodysuits, tailored suits, and metallic cargo pants and are styled by Shiona Turini— have been revealed. “
She has a fan base who relies on her for that curated aesthetic,” she says. “I know the Beyhive is going to be all over those [outfits next].”