What does it take to design a costume for Beyoncé? A whole lot of sparkle, to start. Wednesday night, the singer opened her On The Run II tour with Jay Z in one of her most show-stopping (er, show-starting) looks: a silver bodysuit and blazer created specifically for her by designer LaQuan Smith. Smith talked to PEOPLE about his dazzling creation, and exactly how much time went into building the perfect piece to kick off the tour.
The ensemble, which consisted of a silver crystal-encrusted mesh turtleneck bodysuit and a matching blazer, was inspired by “reflective fabrics, transparency and a new perspective on a glamour suit,” according to Smith, who has been working with the singer since early on in his career.
“I only had two weeks to prepare for the tour,” he tells PeopleStyle. “The process consisted of submitting a several sketches based on different moods and ideas, sourcing fabrics, finalizing concepts, budgets, timelines etc., along with pattern-making, cutting and sewing, all within a very short turn-around time. I’m so thankful to have a team of talented people who are resourceful and work extremely hard to help make the visions come to life.”
To create the look, which Beyoncé paired with clear boots onstage, Smith chose comfortable and wearable fabrics that would be easy for Bey to perform in, and pulled the “ninja-style neckpiece,” which covered her face before she rolled it down, from his fall 2018 collection.
“Fabric and textile selections play at a huge role in the design process because you need to know how the garment reflects on stage and also on your body,” he explains. “Four-way stretch is always highly recommended for performers and dancers.”
But while Smith focuses on keeping things wearable, he’s also able to tap into his creative side when designing for Bey. “She’s not afraid of taking risks and trying new ideas, which allows me to design freely and think outside the box,” he says. “It’s so major to be the opening look — it sets the tone for the evening and makes a huge statement for LaQuan Smith collection.”
And of course, designing the opening piece for the tour was an air-tight secret — but he says it’s one that he was honored to keep.
“It’s Beyonce! I would never [reveal the look], but Im so happy the world knows now! I’m so excited to debut the look, and honored to be a part of making history”