Tina's faves: Beyonce wears Kenzo and Ralph & Russo on tour for Mrs. Carter Show
We've seen the incredible catsuits, the nipple-tastic bodices and the glittering heels but up close and personal, Beyonce's tour wardrobe is more spectacular than we could've imagined. Grazia Daily was treated to a behind-the-scenes tour at the O2 Arena today where we had a glimpse at what goes down backstage on The Mrs. Carter Show - and trust us, this is a massively impressive, meticilously planned operation.
Just a few hours before the singing superstar takes to the stage, the atmosphere is surprisingly calm with dancers and backing singers not showing a hint of pre-show jitters, and although feathers are still being sewn onto dresses, there's not an ounce of panic. It's a glimpse into Beyonce's world where we imagine no sequin goes to waste and no curl is left unfurled. Unlike Rihanna who caused outrage when she emerged on stage hours late, audiences have enjoyed show after show that begins bang on time with Bey performing with upmost aplomb.
Keeping it in the family: Tina styles Beyonce's tour wardrobe
That resilient work ethic is evident when we meet Beyonce's mum. Tina Knowles created those wonderfully wacky Destiny Child outfits (scout chic, anyone?) and of course, she runs her own fashion line, House Of Dereon, so now that the singer is touring the world, who better to have on hand than Muma Knowles?
'Regal and royal was the theme of the wardrobe,' Tina reveals when we meet her in the ginormous Mrs. Carter dressing room. 'We took a cue from the O2's commercial which had a queen theme.' Remember the commercial sees Beyonce swooping through palatial luxury swathed in a lavish ballgown? 'For the very first scene, Ralph & Russo created these amazing stage outfits because we wanted something over the top and queen-like but modern,' she says. 'They nailed it with the white outfit.' Hear, hear.
The rails of fantabulous costumes
As a group of workers beaver away on sewing machines, Tina oversees the action like the captain of a super-stylish ship. She guides us through endless rails of bootilicious outfits featuring fierce black leather, sexy cut-outs and sparkly tassles - and there's not one piece out of place. Everything has a named label and the gazillion shoes are laid out in orderly rows.
'It's been great to work with some amazing designers,' Ms Knowles tells us, nonchantly listing names from Givenchy to Pucci. 'Beyonce's worked with almost every brand and we try to discover new designers too. Ty Hunter and Raquel Smith are Beyonce's stylists and they're always in search for new designers to bring in.'
Tina's troops hard at work
Speaking of which, Tina has developed a style crush on our very own David Koma. 'His designs are really innovative and we wanted something different so we used his skirts.' Does she have a favourite ensemble? 'I love the Kenzo outfit. It's African inspired and I like the movement of it, it's really cool with the choreography.'
As for costume dramas, the 59-year-old says it's all part of the job. 'Beyonce makes nine costume changes so you're going to have little things that go wrong,' she tells us. 'You just have to think really quickly because you literally have 30 or 40 seconds to change so she's become a master at it.' As for Tina, she's become a master herself when it comes to making the clothes stage-friendly. 'The designer pieces are beautiful but the team here put in zippers and hidden openings. There are little secrets we can do and there's lots of double-sided tape!'
Grazia's Jessica Vince meets Tina Knowles
There is, however, only so much you can prepare for. 'We practice the quick changes as much as possible but often the outfits aren't totally settled until the day of the concert. And it's an ongoing process. Beyonce studies her performances on film and makes changes for two to three weeks during the tour so things can change at any time.'
Will the changes be nothing short of perfect? We’d bet our concert tickets they will be.
Check out Beyonce's incredible tour wardrobe in the gallery below and stay tuned as we bring you more details from behind-the-scenes at the O2...