Beyoncé at Super Bowl 50 in Dsquared2

Posted on February 08, 2016

Beyoncé performs onstage (with Bruno Mars and Chris Martin of Coldplay) during the Pepsi Super Bowl 50 Halftime Show at the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.


We feel that this costume makes a fairly decent metaphor for the entire Super Bowl 50 Half-Time Show:

Beyonce-Super-Bowl-50-Fashion-Dsquared2-Christian-Louboutin-Tom-Lorenzo-Site (1)

Beyonce-Super-Bowl-50-Fashion-Dsquared2-Christian-Louboutin-Tom-Lorenzo-Site (2)

Beyonce-Super-Bowl-50-Fashion-Dsquared2-Christian-Louboutin-Tom-Lorenzo-Site (3)

Beyonce-Super-Bowl-50-Fashion-Dsquared2-Christian-Louboutin-Tom-Lorenzo-Site (4)

Beyonce-Super-Bowl-50-Fashion-Dsquared2-Christian-Louboutin-Tom-Lorenzo-Site (5)

Beyonce-Super-Bowl-50-Fashion-Dsquared2-Christian-Louboutin-Tom-Lorenzo-Site (6)

Beyonce-Super-Bowl-50-Fashion-Dsquared2-Christian-Louboutin-Tom-Lorenzo-Site (7)

Beyonce-Super-Bowl-50-Fashion-Dsquared2-Christian-Louboutin-Tom-Lorenzo-Site (8)

Beyonce-Super-Bowl-50-Fashion-Dsquared2-Christian-Louboutin-Tom-Lorenzo-Site (9)

Beyonce-Super-Bowl-50-Fashion-Dsquared2-Christian-Louboutin-Tom-Lorenzo-Site (10)

Beyonce-Super-Bowl-50-Fashion-Dsquared2-Christian-Louboutin-Tom-Lorenzo-Site (11)

Beyonce-Super-Bowl-50-Fashion-Dsquared2-Christian-Louboutin-Tom-Lorenzo-Site (12)

In other words, it’s fine, but kind of bland and expected.

That’s right. We said it.

Her performance was fine but this just strikes us as a sexier take on Janet’s old Rhythm Nation costumes, with the added bonus of implied violence, what with all the bullets and bandoliers. We’re not mad at it, but it didn’t so much as raise one of our eyebrows when she stepped out wearing it.


Style Credits:
Dsquared2 Black Leather Jacket with Gold Metal Military Details
Christian Louboutin ‘Country Croche‘ 70 Leather Boots

[Photo Credit: Getty Images,,]

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  • lamh

    someone said it was apparently an homage to MJs ensemble for his halftime showing

    • Karen B

      The bullets are thought to be.

      • Rhonda Shore

        It was supposed to be a homage to the Black Panthers. There’s been a lot of political-type commentary about it and also her new video.

        • Karen B

          I took the berets and bands to be, but I’d thought (and read) the bullets were to MJ.

        • KayEmWhy

          I don’t remember the Black Panthers in underwear.

    • gotgreyhound

      I don’t remember Michael with a vulva zipper…

    • Dandesun

      Where does she keep the wind machine?!

      • Jessica Peterson

        I saw a tweet last night that said her wind machine is God exhaling.

        • makeityourself

          I saw one that said the wind just gets out of her way.

      • Jacob Daniel

        Yasss! There was actually a camera shot where you could see one (very sneakily) cause we paused to look!

        • Dandesun

          Good to know! Also, good to know you had to pause it because my sister and I were puzzling over it. “Where is it?! There’s nothing when they pan back? Why is she the only one getting the wind? Is it in her costume somehow?”

          It was quite the mystery.

          • Lol I can’t remember what it was I was watching, but Bey talked about the reason she always had wind in her hair was because she always has fans onstage because the lights get so hot, but because they’re concealed well they kind of just add to her air of mystery re: fan hair.

  • Karen B

    This was so much more political than fashion. So, commenting on the fashion… uh… the front zipper made for easy bathroom breaks?

    • charlotte

      So I’m not the only one who wondered about that.

    • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour

      Well at least Kim K has something to wear to Parent Teacher Night.

  • Zooey

    So I’ll just start this out by saying I’m a professor in an African American Studies department, so I think I looked at this a bit differently than some, but it blew my mind that she used the stage of the Super Bowl to break out Black Panther inspired costuming to sing a song where she talks about a million critical issues. Is it a perfect song? No. But I was bowled over (pun intended) that she broke out that song for the performance.

    Plus, I enjoyed that she and Bruno Mars, IMO, blew Coldplay (the blandest band ever?) out of the water. And they were the headliners.

    • RL McGruder

      All of this. I damn near had a fist up the whole time.

    • greyhoundgirl

      Yes!!! I appreciated the injection of the important political issues. Hope much of the audience got it.

      • Debra Mandich

        The sound system was so bad I couldn’t understand a word sang(?) So I’m sorry to say I got nothing out of any of it

      • PeaceBang

        Oh yeah, the audience got it. There have been livid comments all over the interwebs today by, shall we say, the less-than-appreciative.

    • Karen B

      Thank you for posting. I’ll gladly refer to you for all historical symbolism/information on the subject!

    • Betsy

      Okay, well that puts everything in a better context for me and makes me appreciate the performance more!

    • Zooey

      Plus, I don’t know if you saw this, but some police officers in attendance were told to turn their backs on the performance as the song is seen, by some, to be “anti-police.” I know this blog is about fashion, but I just read so much into Beyonce’s costuming that, even if it didn’t set the world on fire in terms of original fashion, it was a piece of her larger message. To a HUGE national audience. About issues that are critical to Black America that we should all be caring about. /end political rant.

      • AwwwTrouble

        I feel that once all the meanings and symbolism trickle into the public’s consciousness (after all the video only droppedSaturday) she may face some backlash. But love that she went there.

    • MilaXX

      Of course Fox news is having conniption fits.

      • Filmjen

        Means Bey is on to something.

    • mmebam

      As an aside, I am one of the people who couldn’t quite get past the disconnect between the lyrics and the images of the video, but I am glad that she chose this song and this costuming.

    • meant2bee123
    • bitchybitchybitchy

      The energy level went up exponentially when Bey and Bruno came on the scene, didn’t it?

    • Cualquiercosita

      I immediately thought Black Panthers (and Angela Davis, who was tried just down the street from the stadium), but I also saw the beginning of the show as a 2010s take on 1960s psychadelics. It was an awesome way to tie in 1960s to today (Black Lives Matter, LGBTQ equality), particularly given the importance of the Bay Area to 60s social revolutions. I never thought I would find deeper meaning in an f-ing halftime show.

  • MilaXX

    It’s a tribute to Michael Jackson’s Superbowl performance and her back up dancers were Black Panther’s. I’m not a big Bey fan, but I loved this. Well I thought Coldplay was a bit dull, but loved Bruno (who was excellent btw) and Bey.

    • Bland Gland

      Coldplay were a red herring, let’s be real here.

      • MilaXX

        I know! They didn’t even get the memo on the dress code!

        • Bland Gland

          It’s for the best. Chris Martin could make even black leather look beige.

          • Little_Olive


        • Nancy Arseneault-Heald

          Right? Coldplay comes out singing peace & love and hippy-dippy flower-power shit, and Bey comes out in black vinyl and revolutionary attitude. Bruno Mars just wanted to look like the cool kids. Basically it felt like they wanted to make sure #SuperBowlHalfTimeSoWhite did not happen.

          • Sam Smith

            Indeed, they seemed to be playing at two different performances. I’m not a big Coldplay fan, but I liked the light up stage and the corresponding lights in the stadium. Visually interesting if not musically so. Then Beyonce and Bruno showed up and it was the complete opposite of Coldplay. Didn’t go together at all, wasn’t complimentary either.

      • VCR1

        They were an odd choice from the start. Not exactly fist pumping sports arena music. Glad Pepsi/CBS/NFL decided to put Beyoncé and Bruno Mars in to wake everyone up.

        • Debra Mandich

          Half time goes to whomever bids the most money to the Superbowl commission

          • VCR1

            So Pepsi chooses who performs because they paid for the sponsorship?

        • marlie

          They also recently released a new album and are starting a tour. Beyonce is too, but that’s a surprise that was just announced last night. I wasn’t all that surprised that she was announced as the special guest star a couple of weeks ago either because Coldplay is on Jay-Z’s label, and apparently they’re friends (or as friendly as these celebs can be). I already have tickets to Coldplay (seriously, one of the best live shows I’ve ever seen), and now I’m going to have to break the bank to go to Beyonce too.

    • RL McGruder
    • Chloe Denmark

      I was really hoping that there would be surprise appearance from LL Cool J (a la the Missy appearance from a few years back) since it felt like Bruno and crew were channeling him (or like Run DMC)

      • Nicole

        Bruno said that he was channeling MC Hammer since the game was in the Bay. (And I can’t help but say – Bay Area pride!)

        • Chloe Denmark

          That was totally my other guess last night that I forgot about because sleep was awesome and not terrifying from puppymonkeybaby

      • DesertDweller79

        Too bad we didn’t ditch Coldplay and have LL Cool J and especially Missy instead.

      • understateddiva

        I was waiting for a surprise in the form of a rapper as well 🙁

    • saintebeuve

      Yes! (I basically repeated your comment below – oops.)

      I just wish the dance-off had been a little longer.

    • ireneY

      Coldplay was just okay until Bruno showed up to bust a move. Blew him out of the water.

      • MilaXX

        I think they had some sound issues when he first came on. Bruno rocked!

    • I never understood why Coldplay was so popular…
      LOVE Bruno Mars, though!

  • Bland Gland

    That’s the Beyonce uniform at this point. She’s got an image and she’s sticking to it. Her outfits in the “Formation” video are a lot more interesting.

    • MilaXX

      That Formation video made me pay more attention to Beyonce than I have in a very long time.

      • Bland Gland

        That video was amazing and political and very very loud.

        • MilaXX

          Unapologetically Black. I live!

      • RL McGruder

        Ha! Me, too. I’m definitely not in the Beyhive, but #TeamSlayAllDay!

      • I was discussing with hubs last night how it’s a BFD that a black woman who is considered to THE female artist of the last 10 years or better, went there. That if she were an up and comer she couldn’t have or would have been seen as “aggressive”, “angry”, and “anti-white”. That maybe, just maybe, her global popularity will cause some people who’ve previously been deaf to the talks of systematic racism,will be more willing to hear it. Because Bey is the woman saying it.

        • Nicole

          Agree – I’m not a Bey fan, but I felt nothing but respect for her last night. Loving her for seizing this moment and taking a stand as a black woman.

        • DesertDweller79

          Interesting! I haven’t seen the video yet. Not really a Bey fan. (Or pop/R&B at all, really.) After reading the responses here, I think I’m going to give the video a look.

        • You’re right that no one else could go there in such a public way–and even *she* really is being called anti-cop, anti-white, too vulgar, blah blah. I give her a ton of credit when she could just make fun dance songs and protect her brand.

          • I was discussing on twitter that I think Bey is happy with her millions of dollars and is content to make art that matter to her now. She can very literally afford to take the financial hit that not centering the white perspective might mean for a black artist. She doesn’t have to work a day in her life if she doesn’t want to but she has always said that she expresses herself best through her music and imagery and that’s what she’s doing. Using her art to explain her politics.

      • ohayayay

        Her 2013 album that dropped with 12 full-length music videos blew me away. She made some strong feminist, body image, pro-sexuality and seemingly autobiographical statements with that one. I sound like a Stan – lol- but that album had some depth to it. It tells a story. She co-opted some images of various protest movements (particularly Arab Spring) in the video to “Superpowers,” which is about black love. “Pretty Hurts’ was about harmful beauty ideals. XO was just totally joyful black woman in the world. Yonce was all black supermodels. I totally geeked out about it at the time. Still geeking out about it.

  • Betsy

    Her stage ensembles are always variations on the same thing—bodysuit, fishnets. I didn’t think it did her justice at all. Her performances are even starting to feel the same too–manic.

    • I mean, she’s dancing, so… gotta wear something she can dance in. No one complains that ballerinas wear too many tutus.

      • haroldine

        Or bodysuits, I mean leotards

  • Tanya Wade

    I was pleased to see she was wearing sensible-ish shoes for the turf. I kind of like the gold detailing on them, too.

    • VCR1

      The field at Levi’s stadium is notoriously bad, so I was wondering what all those heels were doing to the turf. I did like the shoes a lot though!

    • kittyvscupcake

      Me too! The thick rubber heels seemed very sensible and stylish!

    • BaddestMotherEver

      The close up TLo photo of the shoes made me gasp! They’re beautiful.

  • Luca

    it’s interesting how the Lady gaga hymn got more coverage than the half-time show… it must mean something.

    • MilaXX

      You’re looking in different places than the rest of us? Sounds like a matter of perspective.

      • Luca

        well, I’m abroad, maybe that’s the reason 🙂
        But reading a bit around I noticed that a lot of attention was given to Gaga’s hymn and less to the halftime show, while usually it was the opposite.

        • GillianHolroyd

          I didn’t watch the game this year but IME, the halftime show, like the commercials, is not broadcast on the overseas satellite telecast. That could be the reason for less discussion.

          • Luca

            but comparing to last years when, browsing around the net, the hymn part was basically not considered and all the attention was on the half-time show, this year I found a reversal of the buzz.
            Which is even more surprising because, well, you know, non US people do not really care about the hymn…

            (incidentally, we also find all this superbowl thing quite… peculiar, but that’s another story 😛 )

  • geans

    Please do a post on Chris Martin’s craft-project getup.

    • jen

      He looked like he was wearing Garanimals.

  • steph

    I thought between Bey and Bruno, their costumes were homages to Run-DMC, Janet, and old school rap.

  • The Real Mean Girl

    Oh thank God. I thought I was the only one who thought half-time was ho-hum.

    • FrigidDiva

      My reaction was “meh” too.

  • Eva_baby

    I guess I can see this if you are just looking at the outfit itself. But it was a very studied political statement especially paired with all the imagery in the Formation video. Personally I was riveted by her Black Panther back up dancers complete with their natural hair Afros and berets.

  • I thought the whole shebang was meh but I loved her dancers.
    “Sexy Black Panther.” Please tell me that one of those gawdawful Halloween costume companies hasn’t already made that happen.

  • saintebeuve

    I think this was what she had in mind.

    • saintebeuve

      (sorry so big!)

    • AwwwTrouble

      Plus there’s even a line about Jackson 5 nostrils in the song.

      • Gatita

        Am I the only one who had a pang over that line since poor Michael napalmed his nostrils out of existence?

        • KateM

          She says Jackson 5, not Michael… so I’m thinking it’s a reference to his/their natural faces

        • AwwwTrouble

          I think it’s certainly intentional the line is Jackson 5.

        • melisaurus

          I’m not interested in being a comment police but this borderline body snark.
          It wasn’t 100% MJ’s fault that his nose became like that. He originally broke his nose in the late 70s and had surgery to fix it and he had trouble breathin. Which turned into a spiral of corrective surgeries. He said he had lupus, it wasn’t confirmed or disproved in the autopsy, and that caused complications with the surgeries.

          • AnaRoW

            The vitiligo was confirmed in the autopsy IIRC. Several of his doctors have confirmed he had lupus and that it also contributed to his repeated surgeries.

    • MilaXX

      Yes her outfit was almost a dead ringer for Jackson’s from Super Bowl XXVII.

      • Linda LaPaz

        Except she forgot pants.

        • scoobysnacks

          In her defense, it’s easy to do that sometimes. 😉

          Totally thought of her performance as channeling Jacksons Janet and Michael, particularly Michael as the above picture demonstrates. It’s a salute to past, present, and future, so I felt I got it immediately.

    • kittyvscupcake

      OMG, Micheal’s costume here looks amazing. It looks so much more rich and elaborate than Bey’s!

    • Mona_Visa

      I’ve been watching Michael Jackson videos today… Bey’s a great performer, but I could think of was Michael. My room was covered with MJ posters (and Duran Duran & U2, plus one of Billy Idol that I took down after my dad pointed out that Billy Idol was closer to HIS age than mine, gag) during the 80’s. I always thought I’d get to see him in concert.

      I know he wasn’t perfect. But he was a perfect performer.

    • It was.

  • Little_Olive

    I am not opposed to the (relative) blandness, because “more” could have easily become “worse”.

    What’s with the legband? Does it have a meaning? Is she a biker bride?

    • Karen B

      No. Scroll through to Zooey’s comment for explanation.

    • Gatita

      Black panther reference.

  • Conniepop

    Fashion only…not commenting on the political issues…can she wear something different to perform in? I am over fishnets and leotards.

    • Anna

      I was dissapointed because it was black leather, again, like her last super bowl performance

    • kittyvscupcake

      Agreed. She’s at the “of course” portion of her performance garments at this point.

  • TheScobinator

    I thought she had very specific (almost heavy-handed, considering the all-American non-controversial-except-for-boobs-and-booze Super Bowl) costume allusions to Michael Jackson, Black Panthers, and resistance. I mean, she was singing about ‘baby afros and negro nose’ – I found it to be really powerful and affecting and the imagery was pretty perfect.

    Chris Martin made for a real happy third-wheeler, no?

    • MilaXX

      Twitter was calling Chris Martin Left Shark. lol

    • M. K.

      Yeah, I think it was very transparent in its allusions – I got it and I’m in Europe. Fashion wise, it’s a meh, but it’s very interesting culturally, and it’s interesting that she went there right now.

      Coldplay was in a different universe, playing a different half-time show, it seemed (almost hilariously so).

    • kerryev

      I understand people ribbing him but he looked happy as heck to be singing with those two. I randomly remembered at some point that Beyonce and Gwyneth Paltrow are friends IRL, which puts a spin on her recording with Coldplay.

  • Anna

    I didn’t watch, but I’m getting the sense from these photos that Coldplay are basically a glorified backup band in this scenario, which I find hilarious.

    • Bland Gland

      Not even, because even the back up band was wearing black and gold. Coldplay was just….there.

      • KinoEye

        Coldplay’s contribution was like Lisa Frank throwing up all over the stadium — a six-year-old girl’s bedroom. But I guess they felt they needed something super saccharine to “balance” the performance that came after.

        • Bland Gland

          I don’t know about the need for balance. Uptown Funk is a radio-friendly song. Coldplay’s performance was more Eurovision than anything else, which speaks volumes about how unfitting it was for the occasion. Especially considering they had Gustavo Dudamel conducting the kids.

  • AmyLM

    All I could see was homages iconic artists at this halftime show. Beyonce was playing on Michael Jackson’s superbowl costume (that they even showed in their montage), Bruno Mars was Run DMC, and Coldplay was going with their British band roots with Beatles and Sgt Pepper era colors and flowers.

  • Filmjen

    We were thinking that was one of the best Superbowl performances we’ve seen. The part with Beyonce stomping across the field with Black Panther dancers behind her that is. Plus Formation is aMAZing (in my humble opinion).

    • Kim Elmore

      Yes! I’m so glad I saw this vid online & read Luvvie’s piece on it. I appreciated her performance by 10x at least. Hell, I probably wouldn’t have even watched without it because: Coldplay = meh, Bruno mars = who, & I’m no BeyStan.

      • nancymae

        I love Luvvie!

        • MilaXX

          Another member of LuvNation here!

  • nancymae

    I have to disagree with my uncleson on this one. Maybe it’s because Beyonce made the weekend one the blackest most unapologetically black in a long time but I loved everything about her looks and performance. The gold sashes on black directly reference MJ’s Superbowl show but the bullets and dancer costumes are all about the Black Panthers. Even the boots were a nice touch. All in all, to have her come out onto the biggest stage in the world, just across the bay from the home of the Black Panthers (Oakland), in those blatantly BP inspired outfits, during Black History Month no less was simply amazing. And that’s before you even get to the lyrics!!

    I did feel for Chris Martin when it became clear that he didn’t get the black and gold memo and sported the Pepsi trainers instead.

  • majorbedhead

    I thought it was good. Not great, but it was good.

    The best thing about it is seeing who of my FB friends is posting “I’m not a racist, but” rants about it. My hide button is going to get a workout.

    • Gatita

      That’s interesting because I’ve seen nothing but praise for the song, video and SB performance.

      • majorbedhead

        Considering I live in an extremely liberal city in an extremely liberal state, it never fails to surprise me when I hear crap like that.

  • Lily

    I didn’t read too much into it, I suppose. I enjoyed the entire half-time show. I didn’t think about her costumes as a statement, was more interested if she was planning on dropping the f-bomb like she did in the video.

    Thought the whole show was fantastic, if a bit short.

    And I’m laughing this morning at the conservofreaks who thought it was all about gay pride. Um, what were they watching that made them think that?

    • lipstickdiva

      At the end of the set, the stands were filled with people holding up colored signs and some spelled out the word “love”. So instead of recognizing that Cold Play was exploiting Indian culture and stereotypes, they thought the colors were related to the gay pride flag. Dumb all around.

      • Lily

        I guess I didn’t get the Indian culture appropriation, either, at least not the way it was portrayed. I saw more bright, vivid colors that were more a take on 60s Peter Max hippy trippy rainbow bright lovefest (mind you THAT was inspired by the Beetles’ turn in India) than I saw anything directly related to Indian culture and/celebrations. Are we at a point where even things “inspired” by others can’t be looked upon simply for what they are without accusations of appropriation and exploitation?

        • lipstickdiva

          Did you see their latest music video where Beyonce did a cameo and how they portrayed India–my culture and my people? If you haven’t, then once you do, maybe you’ll see where I’m coming from. The set design was an off-shoot of that video, which was exploitative. They obviously dialed it down for mainstream America but the flower garlands, the Devnagri script spelling out Cold Play, the mandir temple bells, all of that is so on the nose Indian.

          I don’t see that they were inspired by my culture. Being inspired would mean they took something from my culture and then did something good or interesting with it. In this case, it was just their turn as the next wave of British artists to go to India and use stereotypes to separate themselves from other bands for their latest tour. And yes, as an Indian-American woman, who is tired of seeing her culture treated as something to be consumed and stereotyped, we are at that point where I can “accuse” others exploitation. Also note I am not saying appropriation–they are different things in this case.

          Side note: I’m not sure Cold Play is doing that great in making themselves stand out either way. Taraji P Henson confused them for Maroon 5 on her Instagram, which was one of the funniest moments last night.

          • Lily

            I don’t know how using beautiful colors and flowers from a culture are exploitation. I saw nothing negative or exploitative in their portrayal (mind you, I’ve not seen the video), where I saw a beautiful celebration of life.

            Were they making fun or mocking your people, its dress, or creating characters of culture that are inconsistent with one’s experience there? If being inspired by another culture is exploitative, then I suppose all of the popular “color” runs where people get colored talc thrown on them during the race should be stopped since they are inspired by the annual Holi festival. Likewise, perhaps the “Big Bang Theory” should take out the character of “Raj” because he’s portrayed as inept with women and wears dorky sweaters, even though he is Indian. Is he the stereotype of an Indian man, or more the stereotype of a nerd, and where do those two intercede (and should “nerds” not be equally as offended by how they are portrayed on the show?)

            As someone who lives in a state surrounded by Native Americans, I see regularly the exploitation of the PEOPLE and its symbols, especially when those stereotypes are viewed in the negative. I saw nothing but positivity in what Cold Play was trying to convey. Mind you, I haven’t seen the full video so am ignorant of its uses in that context. Perhaps if I see that I will be able to more fully understand this point of view.

          • lipstickdiva

            I’m trying to respond to you with both respect and humor…I think it’s a bit disingenuous to say that using colors and flowers are not exploitative when they are clearly tied to a much larger theme. Yes the video is filled with stereotypes and uses Indian imagery and people in a negative light. I don’t like seeing poor Indian kids being used as props. I don’t like seeing Beyonce dress up as an Indian woman doing fake-Kathak hand motions. I don’t like seeing kids painted blue to depict various Hindu gods, or poor kids dancing around Cold Play in a fake Holi set. Also, every example you’ve brought up has been discussed to death among Indian-American circles where we notice these things. The color run now acknowledges Holi after they started it up and didn’t acknowledge it–there was quite a lot of controversy around this issue and now it’s mentioned on the bottom of their website. Raj’s portrayal has long been problematic because it’s about the asexual, inept Indian nerd guy stereotype. Aziz Ansari’s Masters of None picks apart this issue so nicely, especially around the question of why Indian actors play men with the Indian accent and other stereotypes. It’s worth a watch because he handles it with humor and grace.

            Did you write people in all caps because you think I’m confusing the issue of exploiting a culture/cultural symbols versus people? Again their video, of which this set was an off-shoot of and their whole tour will use this theme, does both.

            I’m glad that you saw a beautiful celebration of life. I thoroughly enjoyed the Beyonce-Bruno Mars part. But I don’t appreciate the insinuation that I’m wrong to raise questions when I clearly see something from my culture being used this way. We’re no longer in the 1960s, Indian people are more actively part of the world and American culture, we will be speaking up. I’m going to disengage from this conversation after this, I’d rather just go enjoy the fashion. Good day.

          • mickiemonkey

            Lipstickdiva, I know you want to stop this conversation but I’d just like to add that I don’t see how the video is NOT exploitation, appropriation AND erasure. Not only is Indian culture portrayed in stereotype, but sacred images are sensationalized and sexualized. I found it shockingly offensive.

  • kittyvscupcake

    Didn’t they do something similar on Empire..with the same kind of outfits? Come to think of it, the talent from Empire would have been better to host the Superbowl Halftime show!! I think Beyonce’s performance from like a couple years ago was much better. Bruno Mars annoys me as he looks like a fake Michael Jackson. And I like Coldplay, but they seemed out of place. Christ Martin looked like he was dressed to attend the FIFA Worldcup.

    Also, why all the black, hot looking fabrics? Bright colors or bright metallics, like Lady Gaga was wearing read much better on TV and to a giant stadium audience.

  • golden_valley

    I thought it was more Janet, than Michael, Jackson. The choreography in particular reminded me of her.

    She and Bruno Mars blew Cold Play out of the water, both visually,musically and, despite Chris Martin bouncing around, energetically.

  • sterling88

    “…didn’t so much as raise one of our eyebrows”

    Hmmm…I think performing on the world’s most televised and watched stage surrounded by a group of women dressed in garb that clearly is intended to evoke Black Panther imagery is pretty bad ass and more than raised a few eyebrows. As two people who clearly understand that fashion can be a powerful means of expression I’m surprised by your response to what was essentially a not so subtle form of protest on Beyonce’s part. Her style may tend to be bland, but her performance both here and in her Formation video were anything but.

    • Don’t conflate our critique of DSquared2’s costume design with a critique of her performance or her song.

      • sterling88

        Sure, but I’d have to say that in this case the costume design and the performance are inextricably linked. Speaking from strictly a style perspective this doesn’t have much in the way of new or innovative design elements (or at least new for Beyonce), but that narrow view is incongruous with the type of nuanced style analysis you tend to offer on this site. I’m just not really on board with this post since I think it was an incredibly bold style choice on her (or her team’s) part – and more importantly one that was made in front of arguably all of America.

        • And that’s fine to disagree or take the discussion in that direction, but we deliberately and specifically kept our criticism restricted to her costume design specifically because we didn’t want to criticize the broader implications of her song and the politics behind it. By all means, bring those things into the conversation, but don’t confuse what we were critiquing here.

          • sterling88

            I’ll end it here since it seems like we are talking past one another at this point and it really wasn’t meant as a knock to you, but to clarify – I wasn’t asking you to “criticize the broader implications of her song and the politics behind it”. I’m saying that in your discussion of her costume, it would have been nice to acknowledge the visual statement that she was making since it was so overt. This isn’t outside the realm of your blog as you’ve done this many times in the past (Amber Rose, Miley Cyrus, etc.) to great effect. Again – it’s not about analyzing or critiquing the issue but rather the effectiveness of her style choices (and its design) to make a point.

          • I understand everything you’re saying and for the most part, don’t disagree, but you quoted our critique of the design of her costume and responded as if we were critiquing the meaning behind it or the performance. That’s the only thing I was addressing. What “didn’t raise our eyebrows” was the leather bodysuit and fishnets, not the fact that the wearer was “performing on the world’s most televised and watched stage surrounded by a group of women dressed in garb that clearly is intended to evoke Black Panther imagery.”

          • mildmay_the_fox

            but the thing is that you don’t keep the criticism on the costume. you directly link one thing with another when you say the costume is a metaphor for the blandness of the half-time show.

  • Apocalipstick Now Redux

    Fashion only here, but it seemed to me that 1988 vomited all over the Super Bowl halftime show. Coldplay had the bright, mismatched colors, bedazzling, flowers, pink and yellow marching band, Bruno Mars in his hefty bags channeling Run DMC and Beyoncé doing a hooker version of Michael Jackson. It all looking boring and done.

  • Stanley V Hudson

    Direct Copy of Spike Lee’s Film Chiraq……. Check it out!

  • Beardslee

    Didn’t watch the halftime show so am very interested in the comments here. Good for Beyonce for paying homage the way she did but I still can’t get over that vulgar zipper. Other than that, kudos from this Mayflower descendant.

  • GemFemme

    Bruno was the best part of the show.
    I’m not a fan of bullets as accessories. I did like her big hair.

  • cwade1211

    Well, dang. I would have watched this if I knew Bruno was going to show up! I hope I can see it on youtube.

  • travelgirl28

    You know, I love Chris Martin and Coldplay and so was excited to see them perform…but I just couldn’t hear them. Really atrocious sound projection.

  • redhead with tattoos

    Bey’s outfit is a direct homage to Michael Jackson’s Super Bowl halftime costume, and her backup dancers are dressed as the Black Panthers, which was made explicit when they took several backstage photos holding the Black Power raised fist salute.

    You don’t have to think her performance was electrifying (though I did), or that her costumes were exceptional, but the references were pretty overt and well-publicized.

    • redhead with tattoos

      I should add that I thought the overt MJ callback was especially interesting in the performance’s context after the backlash against the casting of Joseph Fiennes to play him in a (hopefully already dead in the water) movie and the momentary reassertion of Michael’s blackness in American culture.

  • Gatto Nero

    I immediately thought of Janet’s costumes, too.
    Hate the fake ammunition.

  • StillGary

    I wouldn’t mind having a pair of the gold & black Nikes…

  • haroldine

    I’ve been a loyal reader of this blog for almost its entire existence and am actually terrified that I might run into TLo one day and cause a fan girl huge scene. This is the first time that I’ve ever really thought you missed the mark. I just don’t think in this instance you can divorce the political statement from the fashion. Taking aside the black panther costumes, which are enough for commentary on their own, the outfit was obviously a deliberate shout out to both Michael AND Janet, who experienced huge career fallout caused by sexism and racism (unlike the white man who undressed her who got the opposite) from her performance at this very event. Yeah, it’s a bodysuit and fishnets (which, you know, help show a dancer’s lines), but this was the most powerful use of costuming to make a statement that I can remember.

  • carolina_dawn

    I thought this was like what she always wears when performing. No?

  • Ravel Puzzlewell

    She’s ready to go on a date with the Bullet Farmer from Fury Road.

  • Blackcatbitch

    Exactly. When I saw the thumbnail, I thought it was Janet! Then the bullet harness ! Clearly, she is paying homage to the Jacksons.

  • Byodo-In

    The outfit is unremarkable, a pastiche of things we have seen before. I just wish she would actually sing something that shows off her incredible voice instead of just appealing to 14 year olds.

  • Fannie Wolston

    How could i miss the connotations of the vulva zipper, combat boots and twerking dance moves as an homage to BP and MJ? seriously an army pant of anysort would’ve provide relief to that killer jacket

  • angkmaurer

    Oh, man. I suppose Tom and Lorenzo can’t be all the things all the time. Like many others here, I had hoped this post would dive deep. Keeping my fingers crossed for their take on the video…

  • ohayayay

    The whole thing was joyful. The dance off/sing-off between Bruno and Bey with her ladies in formation was riveting. Also, I like Coldplay, and yes, Chris Martin just bounced around like a crazy hummingbird the whole time, and that was cool too. Good homage to 50 years of halftime spectacle.

    • Fannie Wolston

      Bruno always bring the Joy!

  • I like the boots. Definitely made the same Rhythmnation connection last night. MJ is clearly there too. It all felt very late-80s/early-90s with Mars’s similar chains and leather and MC Hammer dance moves.

    And then there’s Coldplay, wearing what appears to be Desigual. CLUNK. No coordination.

    • Greenlee Rose

      I picked up on that too. For a second there, I thought MC Hammer was coming to the stage.

  • Karen Clark

    Agreed. I was actually disappointed in the whole halftime event, especially since it was the 50th. And in the Bay Area? Better local talent who knows how to put on a show.

  • Jane

    I thought the outfit was somewhat clever in that the gold X not only referenced MJ, but also Superbowl 50 (Golden X), and thought that Bey was working on both mainstream and political levels with this outfit. I get that leotard and fishnets aren’t exactly earth shattering for performance wear, but I thought the fact that there were multiple messages in what she was communicating elevated the overall look beyond typically Bey-sic.

    • makeityourself

      The Roman numeral for Super Bowl 50 would be “L,” and because that typically signifies “loser,” they went with the number 50 instead.

  • fromanotherplanet

    I am living for her juicy thighs!!!!!! YAASS!!!

  • Madgirl

    I wish people were as angry about police brutality as they are about Beyoncé singing about it.

  • A_guy01

    Bey-sic does sports! Seriously though – yawn.

  • Alex Palombo

    Her costume was an homage to Michael Jackson, which was cool. But I was more impressed with her Black Panther back-up dancers – quite a statement to make during the Super Bowl.

  • Anne

    Aww, look, there’s Gustavo Dudamel peeking out from between Beyoncé and Bruno Mars. Nice try, classical music! 😉

    • Gatita

      Is that really him? Ha!

  • yoyo

    word on the street – its a homage to MissJackson, since they totally played her 10 years ago

  • Patrick

    Guys! How did you ignore the theme going on here?!!! Her single dropped the day before and it’s a black power anthem. Her back up dancers were dressed like Black Panthers! She straight up infiltrated the whitest band ever at the Super Bowl with a shock of black girl insurgency! Seeing her dressed like a general with a back up army of fly revolutionaries singing that she “loves her baby’s hair with baby hair and afros” and her husbands “negro nose with Jackson 5 nostrils” is some seriously bold stuff. Especially from her. I thought it was very powerful.

    I agree that she’s done this look before, but I expected you to go IN talking about her use of the black power iconography and the jacket from Michael’s Super Bowl performance.

  • ladybug

    One the other hand, I really liked Chris Martin’s outfit.

  • cocohall

    This whole discussion is fascinating and illuminates the deep divide in this country. I’m not a huge Bey fan and haven’t been paying attention to her new video and simply saw her half-time performance as another solid Bey performance. I confess to being one of those people who never can understand the lyrics to any song so I missed the lyrics referencing black features. Chris Martin was doing his patented ADHD/goofy stage persona as well. The Super Bowl has such a wide audience that I’m sure many people missed the message or thought she was simply referencing MJ. But Bey is smart enough to know that because it was the Super Bowl, her message would get unpacked and discussed beyond her own sizable fan group. I agree with one of the other BKs who wished that people would be as galvanized about police brutality against blacks as they seem to be about her performance. As an older BK, it saddens me that we still need to devote so much energy to ensuring basic human rights.

    On another note, I was also very impressed when she nearly fell backwards during her dance but managed to get back up and keep moving. One tends to underestimate just how hard it is to sing and dance and hit the marks for TV, especially in heels.

  • Tenley

    It’s so easy to put Beyonce in a “lite” box — for example, I rolled my eyes so hard at the idea that All the Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It) was cutting-edge feminism of some sort. But the backup dancers here in the Black Panther costumes set off Rudy Giuliani in defense of police, so I think it’s pretty much about as political as a Super Bowl halftime show can get, which is a feat in itself. (And the costumes are quite something aren’t they?)

  • quiltrx

    I seriously thought, in real time, that the dancers had the most bizarre hairstyles ever. Now that I can see the berets, it all makes sense LOL.
    Didn’t care for Bey’s outfit, don’t really care for her (and couldn’t understand any of the lyrics, unfortunately). I do dig those boots if the trim were silver (of course not with this outfit.
    Bruno was great but they just had him, what, 2 years ago?
    I felt like Coldplay (even though I like them) was an odd choice, but they sure didn’t let them do anything, either, before the others took over.

  • MissAmynae

    I would have preferred shorts.

  • PeaceBang

    Everyone who wants a great write-up of all the images in the video, check out Awesomely Luvvie blog.

  • frumpybiscuits

    I fully absorbed all the political implications and homages of this costume (especially after watching the Spike Lee MJ documentary this weekend -recommended btw). Others have already commented eloquently on the impact of the references. I’m going to comment on the design and fit of her outfit. The fit of the leotard seems way off and looked incredibly uncomfortable and tight. Or am I just not used to evaluating the fit of leotards? The zipper is atrocious and doesn’t seem to reference anything or anyone. Why is it there? Seems like a misstep when all the other elements were very careful references and signals.

  • Clydette Wantland

    Remember when the halftime show was for “entertainment” purposes and not a political platform. Yawn.

  • Vsanborn

    In any other universe she would be labeled as zaftig and her singing voice as ‘wanting.’ But not in America. Bruno nailed it with an old song.