No one made a bigger impact at the Grammys than Beyoncé in not one but two body-baring outfits: A sexy bodysuit that she followed up with a daringly sheer Michael Costello gown. The designer, a Project Runway alum, may have seemed a surprising choice for a star who’s often seen in custom Lanvin and Givenchy, but according to Costello, as soon as Beyonce’s stylist Ty Hunter saw it, he knew it was the one.
“I know that she could have any designer in the world make her anything she wants — I never thought he was going to call,” Costello says of a chance encounter with Hunter at a party. “He came into the showroom [four days before the Grammys], and he was loving everything. He had a direction he wanted to go in, which was ‘Shut s–t down’ and ‘Nakedness.'”
While Hunter was there, Costello brought out the gowns he was working on for fashion week. “When he saw that dress, his heart stopped. He was like, ‘Yes God, this is the moment!'” But despite his excitement, Costello’s Project Runway instincts caused him to create six backup dresses in a matter of days. “Coming from the television shows, I wanted to impress people in a way,” he explained. “I stopped what I was doing and made six more dresses as options. I think it’s because I love a challenge so much. Maybe it gets my adrenaline going.”
The designer dropped off all the dresses with Hunter without time for a fitting, so Costello was praying that the length was right and the fit would work for Beyoncé’s “tiny, amazing” body. But he didn’t get any feedback on whether she’d wear the dress until he spotted an Instagram Hunter posted with a close-up photo of his fabric. “All of our employees were commenting on his page: ‘What does this mean Ty, what does this mean?’ About 20 minutes later we saw the picture from the carpet blasted out everywhere,” Costello said. “When you put somebody like like Beyoncé in that dress, she worked it. It looked like it was made for her.”
The dress is as delicate as it looks, which meant Costello put in overtime to ensure everything stayed put. “I cannot tell you the amount of labor that went into that dress just to make sure [there would be] no wardrobe malfunctions,” he said, noting the translucent fishnet mesh was topped with hand-sewn glass sequins and lace sewn “sporadically” to make every flower look different. And his hard work paid off: “There’s a guy who’s an obsessive Beyoncé fan who offered us $250,000 for the dress. It’s crazy.” Is he going to do it? “I’m debating. I want to keep it! It’s a dream come true.”
What did you think of the gown? Can you believe he made it for her in four days? Tell us your thoughts below!
–Alex Apatoff, reporting by Catherine Kast