The Grammy-winning singer took the stage during the Super Bowl LVI halftime show in a custom creation by the fashion designer to perform her hit songs “Family Affair” and “No More Drama” on a set resembling the streets of Los Angeles. Blige joined Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Eminem and Kendrick Lamar to headline the show, which held a special significance for the greater Los Angeles area as it hosts the sporting event for the first time in roughly 30 years. The show also saw cameos by 50 Cent and Anderson .Paak.
Dundas worked closely with Blige and her stylist, Jason Rembert, to create the custom look, which was a white and silver, mirror-embellished crop top with cutouts and matching shorts paired with thigh-high Dundas by Sergio Rossi boots. The look was created with Swarovski crystals and pearl beadwork. She paired the outfit with earrings from Sister Love.
“I approached the outfit thinking about dressing such an icon that Mary is,” Dundas said. “I thought about what I associate with her and I knew that especially for stage wear, I want the person to feel like the outfit is part of them and their identity.”
Dundas took inspiration from French sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle and her sculptures of women clad in mirrors for Blige’s look. He laser-cut the mirror embellishments in an animal spot pattern that he described as making Blige look like a “snow leopard.” He joined the pieces together so that they’d be connected, but still allow Blige flexibility in her movements.
“I thought [the mirrors] worked really well with Mary because she pulls so much on your heartstrings with singing about things that you kind of identify with yourself,” he said. “She almost becomes a reflection of the audience as well.”
Super Bowl LVI marks the second time Dundas has created a custom look for a halftime show performance. The fashion designer previously worked with Shakira for her halftime show performance in 2020 with Jennifer Lopez, dressing the singer in an array of Swarovski crystal-embellished looks.
Dundas explained that while Shakira and Blige have different performing styles, it was important for him to create looks for both women that were highly visible — aka highly embellished and sparkly — to captivate the audience.
“With any sort of stage wear, there’s a visibility to it,” he explained. “I have my own DNA and I think I do things that are for an extroverted moment if not extroverted people. I like making women shine and to make them look amazing.”
After Blige’s performance, Dundas is releasing the singer’s custom look as an NFT, marking the designer’s first venture in the digital fashion space. Dundas is teaming with DressX for the NFT.
“Anyone can acquire the outfit digitally and wear it through the metaverse,” he said. “I think for me as a brand that outreach with my work is massively exciting. It feels like a whole new dimension that’s added to the designs and to my brand.”
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