The Telegraph
Saturday , April 20 , 2013
Since 1st March, 1999
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Despite the fact we all see our own naked form every day, for some reason we’re still gobsmacked when a designer chooses to exaggerate it on clothing. Whether it’s Jean Paul Gaultier’s conical bras or Vivienne Westwood’s photocopied ‘boob tee’, you can guarantee a hefty round of gasps and whispers of disapproval as soon as what should be hidden inside clothing is illustrated on the outside.

It’s no surprise, then, that when Beyonce took the stage on the opening night of her world tour (in Serbia), the picture that was plastered everywhere the next day was

of her in a crystal-heavy bodysuit featuring trompe ’oeil breasts (maybe we should call it a boobysuit?).

The bedazzled piece in question was, rather predictably, labelled “vulgar”, “inappropriate” and “trashy” and Beyonce was accused of trying to compete with the likes of Lady Gaga’s absurdly incongruous stage outfits.

In fact, the corset was a result of 30,000 crystals, more than 600 man-hours, and a collaboration between US design duo The Blonds (made up of brothers Phillipe and David), Beyonce, her mother, and her stylist Ty Hunter.

“To start, Phillipe hand-painted the suit on Beyonce to achieve the correct shading. The piece was then hand embroidered with approximately 30,000 Swarovski crystals that took over 600 hours to apply,” David told Fashionista.

Though the garment was intended to be both “glamorous and provocative”, the inspiration for the trompe ’oeil breast was in fact artist Tamara de Lempicka, who is famed for her powerful interpretations of the female form. “[It’s] meant to give the illusion of being covered in crystallised honey,” the duo told WWD, a clear reference to the singer’s nickname Queen Bey.

The outfit was just one of a series of custom-made designer pieces commissioned by Beyonce for the tour. She also wears pieces by Givenchy, Pucci, Julien Macdonald and DSquared2… because when you’re Beyonce, the world is your wardrobe.