Beyoncé’s Dubai concert was controversial but her fashion had meaning

Beyoncé heads the Grand Promotion of Atlantis The Royal, Dubai's newest luxury hotel (Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Atlantis The Royal)

Beyoncé heads the Grand Promotion of Atlantis The Royal, Dubai’s newest luxury hotel (Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Atlantis The Royal)

Beyoncé’s first performance in four years ($24 million rumored) [£20 m] price tag) was always going to be epic—but the 60-minute show at the opening party of Atlantis The Royal far exceeded expectations.

On Saturday, January 21, key people, influencers and journalists – including boss Jay Z, Kendall Jenner, British Vogue editor-in-chief Edward Enninful, Black Panther star Letitia Wright, actress Rebel Wilson and former One Direction singer Liam Payne – mark the seven-star milestone. was invited to celebrate its grand opening. The mega resort, which took eight years to build, features 17 celebrity-run restaurants, a shop where original Picasso’s are sold, a 6-metre-high aquarium filled with 4,000 moon jellyfish, and 360-degree views of the Persian Gulf and Dubai. skyline

That’s why no expense was spared in launching what he called “the world’s most ultra-luxurious experiential resort”.

Beyoncé’s looks did not come without controversy. Dubai has strict laws on gay relationships, and many were upset by his appearance in the country, as his new album Renaissance was seen as a celebration of Black and queer dance culture.

The bay is illuminated by rising fireworks taking center stage as the star-studded crowd drank 4,000 bottles of Moët & Chandon champagne at the 90-metre-tall Skypool, which connects the six towers that make up the 795-room Tetris-like facility.

Beyoncé wearing Atelier Zuhra (Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Atlantis The Royal)

Beyoncé wearing Atelier Zuhra (Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Atlantis The Royal)

Here, the 79-time Grammy Award-nominated singer appeared in a yellow dress covered from the waist down with shimmering acrylic shards. The stunning dress was the work of Atelier Zuhra, a Dubai-based label owned by Omani designer Mousa Al Awfi, and is finished with an ethereal marabou feather train that shoots off the superstar’s shoulders like wings. Styled by KJ Moody, Al Awfi told Vogue she “started wearing this dress in November” and “took almost a month and a half to finish.”

Nicolas Jebran dresses Beyoncé (Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Atlantis The Royal)

Nicolas Jebran dresses Beyoncé (Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for Atlantis The Royal)

After opening with a stunning rendition of Etta James’ At Last, Beyoncé then performed seven songs, including Halo, XO., and Brown Skin Girl further showcase her homage to the creators of the region – before transitioning to a corseted red and gold bodysuit complete with a rippling train, glamorous opera gloves, and Nicolas Jebran’s ethereal tiara. The Lebanese designer, who has also dressed Gigi Hadid, Jennifer Lopez and Cindy Crawford, told Vogue that the bell-shaped skirt silhouette appeals to “Emirati women” and their “golden accessory and monochrome color”.

Beyoncé wears Frolov at the AtlantisThe Royal Dubai opening (Getty Images for Atlantis The Royal)

Beyoncé wears Frolov at the AtlantisThe Royal Dubai opening (Getty Images for Atlantis The Royal)

Not shy about making political statements about tailoring for her latest outfit change, Beyoncé platformed Ukrainian designer Ivan Frolov in a tight-fitting pink mini dress, over-the-knee socks, and gilded gloves from her eponymous brand with galvanic pure gold. According to a press release by Frolov, the dress, created at Frolov’s workshop in Kiev during the war and citywide power outages, proved that “no matter what, Ukrainian brands continue to showcase their resistance and culture to the world.”

Hyper-luxurious Atlantis The Royal launch party (Stuart C Wilson / Getty Images for Atlantis The Royal)

Hyper-luxurious Atlantis The Royal launch party (Stuart C Wilson / Getty Images for Atlantis The Royal)

After the performance, Beyoncé and her family (11-year-old Bue Ivy joined her on stage for Brown Skin Girl) relaxed in the hotel’s flagship Royal Mansion suite. Costing $142,500 (US$117.75) per night and covering over 11,000 square feet, it has four spacious rooms (expandable to 15 rooms for an extra $130,000) [£108,000] one night), cinema, safe and its own infinity pool. Considering the cheapest room was $1,800 (£1,490) per night, the other guests were equally pampered, helping themselves with complimentary gold-plated toothbrushes, combs and razors, a ‘menu’ of seven pillows and personal butlers.

While social media is awash with envy, many are eagerly awaiting the announcement of Beyoncé’s upcoming Renaissance tour, and – if it’s any consolation – there are many more iconic music (and fashion) moments to come as the star hasn’t sung any songs from her 2022 album. Up in Beyoncé verse.

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