Over the weekend, Beyoncé and JAY-Z headlined the Global Citizens Festival to celebrate the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela. The festival which held on Sunday December 2nd, 2018 in Johannesburg, South Africa commemorated what would have been Mandela’s 100th birthday. In attendance were thousands of Mandela lovers and celebrities including the likes of Pharrell, Chris Martin, Naomi Campbell, and more.
In 2004, Beyonce met Nelson Mandela when she was billed as a performer at his inaugural 46664 Aids Benefit Concert in Cape Town, South Africa. This past Sunday, the singer returned to South Africa for the Global Citizens Festival and not only honored the late South African president and activist, but carefully celebrated the continent’s legacy and diversity through her costumes.
From a Mary Katrantzou cape that paid homage to 54 African countries to a dress that featured thousands of African beads, the singer’s wardrobe costumes were not only epic designs, many of them also subtly celebrated the beauty and diversity of Africa.
See all our favorite African Inspired looks from Queen Bey at the 2018 Global Citizen’s Festival.
1. Custom black and white Balmain Outfit
To kick things off, Beyoncé and Jay emerged to turn up the crowd with “Apeshit,”. Once again, Beyonce teamed up with Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing to create an amazing black and white ensemble featuring Egyptian Hieroglyphics. Recall that Rousteing was responsible for Beyonce’s looks at the 2018 Coachella Festival.
2. Esteban Cortazar Handbeaded Multicolored Dress
For her first nod to South Africa, Bey turned to Esteban Cortazar, who translated the look of the region’s traditional beading techniques onto a sleeveless minidress with a backplate. To finish off the look Bey accessorized with traditional Ndebele neck rings.
3. Mary Katrantzou “African Map” dress
The biggest tribute of the night came courtesy of designer Mary Katrantzou, who created a sequined bodysuit, balloon-sleeved coat and thigh-high boots which was inspired by traditional African dress. According to the designer, the aim of the outfit was to celebrate the diversity of Africa.
“We wanted the outfit to represent both Beyoncé’s energy and grace on stage, while celebrating the diversity of Africa,” she said. “We first mapped out the continent on her, creating a floral patchwork that was printed on a sequin base and then hand-embroidered it with Swarovski crystals.”
The Global Citizen Festival is an annual music festival started in 2012 and organized by Global Poverty Project. In 2015, the organization announced that Coldplay lead vocalist Chris Martin would serve as the festival’s curator for the next 15 years. It was founded by Ryan Gall and Hugh Evans. Gall said he was inspired by visiting Austin City Limits and seeing the branding on the stage, but replace corporate branding with branding from charities.
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