A few weeks ago on Instagram we noticed Beyoncé fan, Andrew Rayner tagged us at the Beyoncé Renaissance show in Chicago. He was wearing a complete silver outfit head-to-toe with a silver upcycled Burner tank top from pop tabs, silver hot pants, silver high top sneakers and a silver cowboy hat. We assumed that this was just another one of Andrew's daring ensembles -- like the silver pop tab kimono that he wore earlier this year at Coachella. We quickly realized that this was part of a bigger trend -- it was our first glimpse into ‘the BeyHive’, Beyoncé fandom and the the central theme of silver in the Renaissance World Tour. Here's what we found out...
Photo courtesy of Andrew Rayner
Why Do Beyoncé Fans Wear Silver Cowboy Hats?
Fans picked up the theme from the Renaissance album -- the album cover features Beyoncé styled as a modern Lady Godiva sitting on a glass horse dressed in a silver crystal dress and silver cowboy hat. The dress was designed by Dominican Lebanese celebrity fashion designer, Giannina Azar working with Bea's stylist Marni Senofonte. (The dress was hand-stitched and hammered together with 100,000 Swarovski crystals and silver rhinestones and it allegedly weighs 29 pounds).
Why is The Color Silver A Major Part of Renaissance?
Simply put, Beyoncé’s Renaissance uses silver because the album is inspired by House music and disco. (i.e. think disco balls, glittering disco-era gowns designed by Bob Mackie for Cher, Tina Turner, Lola Falana). This is the style but -- like any concept album made by Beyoncé -- there is much more substance that is being conveyed through music, lyrics and imagery in the project.
Renaissance - A Love Letter To The Black Queer Community
As for the real substance of the album -- in the words of fan Andrew Rayner, “the Renaissance album is Beyoncé’s love letter to her uncle Johnny, the Black queer community, and the community’s influence on house music”.
Queen Bey wrote on her website, "A big thank you to my Uncle Johnny. He was my godmother and the first person to expose me to a lot of the music and culture that serve as inspiration for this album." Beyoncé’s mother explains further, “Johnny was the closest human being in the world to me. We were inseparable growing up! Later, he was my nanny/ housekeeper/ designer/ dance partner/ confidant and bestie,” “I laughed constantly with him and trusted him unconditionally! When he died, a piece of me went with him. Solange and Beyoncé worshiped him. He helped me raise them. And influenced their sense of style and uniqueness! He made Beyoncé's prom dress. Last night, she told me to listen closely at the end of the song ‘Heated’ and I heard for the first time her saying, ‘Uncle Johnny made my dress’ and I got so teary eyed.”
What is Beyoncé's Birthday Request And How Are Fans Reacting?
With her 42nd birthday coming up on September 4, Beyoncé encouraged fans to wear silver outfits to her shows. It has been said by some online astrologers that on a cosmic level, silver ties in with Bea's astrological sign, Virgo. Beyoncé wrote in a note to fans on Instagram "Virgo season is upon us. This tour has been such a joy and as we approach the last month, my birthday wish is to celebrate with you wearing your most fabulous silver fashions to the show 8.23 – 9.22". "We'll surround ourselves in a shimmering human disco ball each night. Everybody mirroring each other's joy, Virgo season together in the House of Chrome. See you there!"
For his part, Andrew Rayner (and tens of thousands of fans) didn't need much arm twisting. "I wanted an outfit that matched the queerness (and chrome) of the moment and my first thought was Escama. And when I say queer I mean the bell hooks definition: “being at odds with everything around it.” The up-cycling, the focus on handicraft, and the partnership with Brazilian artisans make Escama, as Beyoncé herself would say, “UNIQUE!” I was proud to tell folks where I got my outfit from…and the stadium staff liked it do much they moved us up to the front! The experience was a dream".
The power of Beyoncé -- and other artists like Taylor Swift -- to motivate their fan bases is undeniable. It's reported that searches on TikTok for “silver boots outfit Beyoncé” have gotten more than 31 million views . In their scramble to find silver outfits to attend the Beyoncé show, many fans are have few choices other than fast fashion which contribute to unethical and unsustainable fashion industry practices. As an alternative to shoddily made apparel that quickly ends up in the trash, Escama Studio produces sustainable silver outfits that draw as much attention as the performer on the stage. Each piece is hand crocheted from up-cycled aluminum pop tabs and is the work of talented Brazilian artisans. Enjoy the show!