Beyoncé Paid Homage to ‘Queen & Slim’ In the Most Beyoncé Way and We’re Here For It
Leave it to Beyoncé to show up for her friends in the most stylish way possible. The “Diva” singer attended the Los Angeles screening of Queen & Slim in an outfit inspired by the film. The key accessories are a nod to the star of the movie, Jodie Turner-Smith, and Bey’s longtime pal, director, Melina Matsoukas.
Beyoncé and Matsoukas have been friends for over a decade
If you’re familiar with Beyoncé’s “Formation” video (and who on the planet isn’t?), then you already know the work of Matsoukas. Though she also concocted some of Bey’s other videos such as “Upgrade U (and “Diva”), Matsoukas’s work spans far beyond the Lemonade world.
Whether it was Snoop Dogg’s “Sensual Seduction,” or Katy Perry’s “Thinking of You,” Matsoukas has a vision. Some of her most prolific work, including bestie, Beyoncé, includes the likes of Solange and Rihanna.
In June, Beyoncé honored Matsoukas at the 47th annual AFI Life Achievement Award tribute gala. In her speech, Beyoncé said, “After over a decade of collaborating with Melina, we’ve become family.”
She continued, praising Matsoukas for her body of work, calling them, thought-provoking, dramatic, funny, and real.”
“In 2005, she managed to shoot five videos with me in three days, creating beautiful imagery with little to no budget. We’ve come a long ways since those days.”
Matsoukas returned the compliments. “My first real foray into directing was 10 years ago with my sister, Beyoncé,” she said.
“She truly inspires me. She taught me how to work, how to dream, how to achieve. And most importantly as an artist, how to take control of your own narrative. Without her, I’m not the same voice and I’m not the same creator.”
She was, of course, referring to Bey’s iconic video for “Formation,” which became a form of a political rebellion. That video, their 12th collaboration, garnered them a Grammy for Best Music Video.
The fashion in ‘Queen & Slim’ visually stunning
While Queen & Slim, written by Lena Waithe, tells the story of a couple on the run after a traffic stop goes wrong, there’s one thing all political sides can likely agree on: the fashion.
The film’s costume designer, Shiona Turini (who worked on season 3 of Insecure with Matsoukas) created only two outfits for each main character in the movie, so she knew they had to be visually compelling.
“For Queen (Turner-Smith), I actually looked at a lot of iconic black activists. I always knew that I wanted her in all white. That was something Melina and I debated,” Turini told The Cut.
“She pushed back on it. But it was something that I fought for because when I looked at images of black activists, the clothes were secondary to the work. I wanted something that was impactful and showed the stark difference between her and Slim, but I wanted it to feel authentic.”
As for Slim’s character (Daniel Kaluuya), Turini said they tested many different red tracksuits.
“So much of the film happens at night, and we wanted it to still have that vibrancy and texture, no matter what time of day we were shooting in. That’s how we ended up on that velvet burgundy color because it looked so beautiful against his skin,” she said.
That said, there’s one costume piece that both Turner-Smith and Beyoncé fell head over heels for.
Beyoncé’s tribute to ‘Queen & Slim’ is envy-worthy
“We’ve had the [Palm boots] for years, producing it only in tiny batches, and they’ve never gone on sale or out of style,” founder, Aurora James, told Refinery 29.
“I really enjoy making products that speak to the culture and having this boot be such a big part of this iconic Black film really means the world to me.”
In reference to Queen Bey rocking the signature look, James added, “Beyoncé is an incredible supporter of women of color. I am always so grateful when she shines her light on us. It burns bright.”
To cap off the look, Beyoncé wore a green cropped utility ensemble with matching purse and drop earrings. The outfit, similar to that which Turner-Smith wore in the Oct. 2019 issue of Elle magazine, is yet another tribute to the film.
Beyoncé posted shots of the look on her Instagram page with the caption, “So proud of my friends Melina and Lena.”
If anyone can wear a pair of snakeskin boots in honor of the movie, it’s Beyoncé. In fact, in case of doubt, Beyoncé is the answer to most things.