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Beyoncé Pays a Sartorial Homage to Ancient Egypt — Again

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Beyoncé has a well-documented love affair with Ancient Egypt, with her penchant for the civilization dating back to the early 2000s, in her depiction of Deena Jones as Cleopatra in the 2006 film Dream Girls. The superstar has in the past channeled Queen Nefertiti in the music video for Sorry, released a batch of tour merchandise inspired by the Egyptian Queen, and worn an Egyptian goddess cape custom-designed by Olivier Rousteing for her last Coachella performances.

Now, the Grammy Award-winning singer has chosen another show-stopping Egyptian-inspired ensemble by the Balmain creative director for her and her husband Jay Z’s performance at the Global Citizen Festival: Mandela 100 at the FNB Stadium in Johannesburg.

Styled by Zerina Akers and Jenke Ahmed Tailly, the outfit was one of six looks she wore during the concert. The sculptural Balmain top featured plumes of feathers and hieroglyphs, which the star paired with cat-eye sunglasses, nude fishnets, and thigh-high boots. The idea was to pay homage to Africa through her on-stage ensembles — she opened the concert in a Mary Katrantzou cape paired with a sequined bodysuit comprising a map print of Africa’s 54 countries.

The songstress also plumped for a design originating from the region. During a special rendition of “Halo” with a local choir, the star opted for a voluminous, fuchsia-colored gown from Lebanese couturier Ashi Studio. Some may recall seeing the ruffled tulle dress on Deepika Padukone on the Cannes Film Festival red carpet in May. Her fourth look included a beaded Esteban Cortazar mini dress paired with traditional Ndebele neck rings, while “Run the World (Girls)” called for a neon yellow Versace suit and an oversized hat. For the finale, the singer emerged on stage wearing a dramatic emerald-colored number from Quiteria & George, which featured a cape and a crystal-embellished bodice.

In celebration of what would have been the great South African leader, freedom fighter, and humanitarian’s 100th birthday, Beyoncé and Jay Z joined other artists and public figures for a concert. In an emotional personal letter, the chart-topping singer opened up about the impact Mandela had on her life after she first met him in 2004 at the AIDS Benefit Concert in Cape Town. “Your kindness and gratitude for every experience, and your ability to forgive are lessons I have learned and will pass on to my three children. My entire family holds you in high regard,” she wrote.

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