disaster, Ferguson – need I go on?), the lyrics and video both give us an electrifying and unapologetic representation of black culture and black beauty with lines like, “I like my Negro nose with Jackson 5 nostrils.”
Chronicling the evolution of fashion and Louisiana’s contentious history of race relations, Queen Bey shuts down naysayers while slaying in Formation. Her artillery of black female dancers break down slick choreographed moves while clad in fashion-forward awesomeness that’ll have you bouncing in your seat. It all culminates in a product that gives us a stellar (nay, mind-blowing) combo that excites the eye and informs and challenges the mind.
This musical product does so much more than entertain, though.
The act of forming in this case, be it to form solidarity, opinion or a collective consciousness about historical events or knowledge that is addressed so seldom it’s almost unfathomably embarrassing, is both powerful in its politics and in its fashion. Vogue notes that Beyoncé “offers a newfound and triumphant anthem for the black American experience with unprecedented form and fashion”.
She occupies spaces that live and breathe a tumultuous race history while donning an unbelievable bevvy of haute couture looks (from Chanel hats and jewellery to Gucci dresses and vintage ensembles by Palace Vintage). Playing an Oscar-worthy supportive role, whether in a lace, corseted dress sipping tea inside a traditional plantation-style home in the deep South or wearing combat boots and Gucci atop a sinking police car in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina - the fashion acts as the ultimate accessory in this case. Yet, as expected, the fashion does not act as an armour. Because, let’s face it, she ain’t don’t need no protection and shit.
Rather, it’s a weapon, highlighting black beauty, curves, facial features and hair, debunking the myth that haute couture should only be worn (and looks best on) the size zeros of this world.
Watch the full video here: