NEW YORK — Beyoncé is plenty bootylicious, but she’s not the babe in the woods she was when Destiny’s Child first scorched their way to the top back in 1997. The diva turned 22 last week, and she’s ratcheted her fly-girl style up a notch or two to a rock-but-regal level. “I’m a lot older and I want my style to reflect my personality,” Beyoncé said, taking a break from promoting her new movie, “The Fighting Temptations,” which opens Friday. She doesn’t know what she’ll wear to the premiere, but the star promises it will be something “really elegant, something Grace Kelly.”
Of course, Beyoncé can still shake her Daisy Dukes with the best of them, but she’s developed a new polish. While her pop-tart peers took to the red carpet in shreds and feathers at MTV’s Video Music Awards, Beyoncé worked a slinky yet subtle Versace dress from the couture collection. “I wanted to wear something fun, but still be taken seriously,” she said of the beige beaded number, “something chic, not predictable, sophisticated, but still sexy.”
This story first appeared in the September 13, 2003 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
“Beyoncé is an artist who really captures your attention,” said Donatella Versace, who also designed several of the outfits the singer wore in videos for “Baby Boy” and “Crazy in Love.” “She has an incredible voice and is an outstanding dancer — you can’t take your eyes off her. She can wear couture with the same attitude as she wears a pair of jeans, and she has a body that most women would kill for — those amazing curves!”
Some designers have yet to figure out how best to dress those curves, but Versace seems to have found the formula.
“I love things that complement my body, and I’m curvy,” said Beyoncé, who counts both her VMAs gown and the chartreuse Versace dress she wore to the MTV Movie Awards in June among her favorite looks. “Donatella knows what we like and what we don’t like and can perfectly fit our sizes.”
As fans know, Beyoncé’s love of fashion is hereditary. Her mom, superstylist Tina Knowles, is always behind the scenes, creating fabulous ensembles for her daughter one after another. “My mom always taught my sister and me to be creative,” said Beyoncé. “I’ve been making jeans and customizing my own clothes since I was nine.”
And creating a collection of her own is something the star would like to sew up in the not-too-distant future. “I want to do my own line with my mother, but I don’t just want to put my name on something I wouldn’t wear,” she said. “We’ve been working on it, but we’re going slowly. I want to make sure that it’s something I’m really involved in. I want my own line to be good enough for me to want to wear it — something a little more upscale, but something that is still affordable.”
During the collections, Beyoncé hopes to find inspiration on the runways. She’ll attend as many shows in New York as she can, then it’s on to Milan.
“I really want to see a Versace show,” she said. “I saw a Cavalli show in Rome once and it was so exciting.”