It seems like an almost impossible task to even begin to discuss the magnitude of artistic achievement that Beyoncé managed to attain on Saturday night. Her latest visual album
is her most profound, introspective work to date, unpacking a tale of infidelity (that has the BeyHive buzzing it mirrors her own life) and the 11 stages of grief that took her from mere suspicion, to rage, finally making it all the way back to acceptance and the rebirth of love. While it will take at least another 10 viewings for us to even begin to wrap our heads around all of the amazingness that transpired in this one-hour video, there’s one thing we know beyond a shadow of the doubt — there was not a single look that did not slay in a major way.
So since we know you were probably too busy weeping your eyes out over the seeming disillusion and then reconfirmation of Jay and Bey’s marriage, we went ahead and rounded up the best looks from each stage of the video in GIF form, so you can relive the magical emotional roller coaster that is Lemonade all over again.
The whole album draws us in slowly with a stripped-down Beyoncé standing in a field wearing a simple, yet symbolically potent, black hoodie.
As the album starts to pick up the pace, so do the outfits. This yellow Roberto Cavalli ruffled dress is sure to become one of her most iconic looks of all time, and it also happens to be the perfect ensemble for smashing up some cars.
Honestly, Bey’s backup dancers deserve an entirely separate style post all unto their own. For “Anger,” they slowly writhe in a circle maneuvering as one with the sleeves of their dresses knotted together. The queen of pop steals the show though, of course, doing her best Lil’ Kim/Kim K impression in a Hood By Air fur slumped off her shoulders, a gray Yeezy sports bra and high-waisted legging set, and the waist-length cornrows she debuted in “Formation.”
“Sorry” provides us all with a whole new set of Bey-approved catchphrases to repeat ad nauseam for the next year, such as “boy, bye” and “middle fingers up, put them hands high,” to say nothing of the dance that accompanies that lyric that should immediately replace the “Single Ladies” hand dance as the new go-to club move. Plus, anything that gets us Serena Williams twerking in a bodysuit (which coordinates with Beyoncé’s Yousef Al-Jasmi one-piece) is obviously an instant classic.
And of course, who could possible forget the moment that gave us “Go call Becky with the good hair,” while she invokes Nefertiti with a crown of braids, a Zana Bayne bralette and Maxior yellow gold and diamond earrings.
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“Emptiness” uses a lot of the same aesthetics as formation, opening with Bey, wearing a Nicolas Jebran gown, serving as a human lighthouse, eerily illuminating her dancers who are lining the room. As the song progresses, fire begins to erupt around her, which we all know is the perfect backlight for a semi-sheer bodysuit.
Images of black children and a man telling a story about meeting Obama and how it inspired him to realize he can be anything he wants, slowly transitions into a full-blown country song called “Daddy Lessons,” in which Bey wears a dress cut to look like a turn-of-the-century Southern belle gown, but done in a traditional African print.
Like a gentler, more water-centric take on “Formation,” “Reformation” offers viewers their first glimmer of hope that Bey and Jay’s relationship may not be in quite as dire straights as it’s seemed up until now.
Bringing back the Maori body paint, this surreal moment transitions into the most explicitly personal and intimate video to date. Launching into “Sandcastles,” Jay makes his first physical cameo in the video, confirming their love is real and stronger than ever. Cue the chorus of tears.
We also all discovered that the only thing cuter than their relationship is Beyoncé’s reading glasses.
Just in case you weren’t already weeping, the video then moves into a Black Lives Matter montage showing the mothers of victims including Michael Brown and Trayvon Martin holding pictures of their sons. In other words, there’s not going to be a single dry eye in the house by the time we get to the end of this thing.
“Hope” gives us a shot eerily reminiscent of the photo taken at her sister Solange’s wedding before Beyoncé delivers the most uplifting track on the album, “Freedom,” singing directly into the camera wearing a dress by Maria Lucia Hohan, all shot in black and white.
“Redemption” finally gives us the chance to dry our tears and pack up the tissues as we realize Beyoncé has truly grown up, not only as a person but as an artist, intercutting home videos (like a never before seen tape of her wedding!) with shots of her all-female, all-black posse, like this one sitting on the front porch wearing Rosie Assoulin.
Finally, as the credits roll, “Formation” plays because Beyoncé knows she just drove by all her haters like:
Queen Bey truly made Lemonade out of lemons, and the rest of us may never be the same again.
What did you think of Lemonade? Which look was your favorite? Sound off below!