One of the most daunting tasks before a concert can be figuring out what to wear. And in the case of Beyoncé’s Renaissance Tour, it’s especially difficult seeing that her adoring fans don’t have many visual references (or, umm, music videos) to base our looks off of.
Be that as it may, Queen Bey charged us with an affirmation, or maybe just a diversion tactic: we are the visuals. So when I copped my London tickets to RWT earlier this summer, I knew that I had to get creative with my look.
There are plenty of glittery, bejeweled and metallic pieces available this summer, as those are all big trends right now. But when it comes to shopping fast fashion, you risk wearing a look that someone else has. When I decided to create a custom plus-size dress for the big day, I turned to Renee Cafaro, designer of Renee Cafaro Atelier, a plus-size luxury brand based in New York City, to execute the look of my sweet dreams.
You’ve certainly seen her designs on your feed—if they aren’t already saved in your cart—Cafaro, who also owns the ready-to-wear line RCA Public Label, is responsible for the patented Game Changer dress, a viral hit that constantly sells out. This year, she designed an Oscars dress for award-winning producer Melanie Miller and dressed Michelle Buteau for her Survival Of The Thickest press run. So needless to say, my Renaissance Tour look was in very capable hands.
Keep reading to see how the NYC-based designer created my one-of-a-kind look, and some easy tips to create a plus-size Renaissance Tour look of your own.
Beyoncé Concert Plus-Size Outfit Ideas: Get Inspired
“I love brainstorming with a custom client, because though it is an opportunity for me to be creative, it’s really about making someone else’s dream come true,” Cafaro says. “Just getting to know a person—not even discussing fashion—can spark some great inspiration for me to incorporate something that reflects the client. You never know where you’ll find that creative synergy.”
And that’s exactly what we did on a sunny afternoon in her gorgeous Garment District, Manhattan studio. After leafing through racks and racks of her gorgeous custom-made samples and archive, we stumbled upon a gloved gown that Cafaro graciously allowed me to try on.
“My 2021 NYFW Millennium Collection was highly inspired by the iconic bling of Y2K red carpets and things I felt Destiny’s Child would wear, so when I was tasked with a look for Beyoncé, I thought that collection was a good place to start for inspiration,” she reveals. “The attached glove pattern which popped in my head back in 2020 is such a ‘main character look’ and an all-time favorite of mine!”
Renee altered the Glove Gown pattern to suit me as a top, and paired it with the crystal fringe denim mini of the same collection.
Before working with the designer, I ordered a ton of random, blingy denim and metallic pieces from random retailers, hoping to make something out of nothing. Turns out, I could’ve found a few odds and ends right in the comfort of my own local shops instead of turning to Amazon.
“Everything is sourced in the Garment District as part of my mission as a company is to bolster local small business, reduce carbon footprint, and make haute couture that is ethically and locally made,” she says. The gorgeous crystal bee embellishment on the shoulder of my dress is a bauble that Cafaro found after a little bit of scouring.
If you don’t live in New York, many of the Garment District shops ship their goods outside the city. Or try cruising your local thrift stores and consignment shops for vintage-inspired earrings, brooches and necklaces.
At the end of the day, Club Renaissance isn’t a fashion show, it’s a party! Seeing all the cool outfits is only part of the experience. Don’t stress out too much about the little stuff. Even if you choose to go simple, a few personal touches that are meaningful to you can make any outfit a custom creation.
With my own custom creation, I didn’t need to add too many accessories with it. Renee added 6 yards of rose gold crystal to both the top and the skirt, so there was no lack of bling. I wore a pair of vintage drop link Chanel earrings (a nod to my favorite Renaissance song, "HEATED"), a rose-gold fan and a decade-old bumblebee ring that I bought for my first Beyoncé concert back in 2013.
Thankfully, Renee made a skirt with pockets, so I didn’t have to wear a purse (which I highly suggest if you have a standing room ticket). Everything is typically contactless these days, so leave your wallet at home.
As for shoes, I cuffed up the night in a pair of black leather Belmore knee-high boots in black leather from DuoBoots, a brand that specializes in footwear for all calf sizes. I chose a shoe with a platform sole and thicker heel, as I knew I’d be standing—and dancing—for hours on end. I absolutely love my boots and am excited to style them come fall. However, I definitely suggest flat shoes or sneakers, so you can party extra hard.
My Renaissance Tour outfit made me look and feel like royalty. I got so many compliments from strangers on the Tube, fellow concertgoers and even the security guards. And pardon one last Renaissance pun but, in the moment, I truly felt cozy in my skin knowing that I was in a space that welcomed all sorts of people in all sorts of fashions.
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