Hellllooooo! Alex here. This is an addendum to our #WednesBey Roundup, where we all took inspiration for our Wednesday Friendsday outfits from the sartorial archive of Beyoncé. Just like with the Downton Abbey lookbook, I couldn’t help myself creating looks beyond what I was going to actually wear to campus that Wednesday (above). Below, some of my approximations of looks from Lemonade, what I wore for the second #WednesBey, and a bonus SaturBey outfit. I think these are kind of in the mode of “casual cosplay” which I just learned about from @cutenotkawaii on Instagram who does #Pretendsday every week using her own clothes and accessories, like I did here! Maybe that will be an upcoming prompt here on Sartorial Scholars, too!
ALL THE JEWELRY! I think “Formation” is why I’ve been loving this dark lip even more than usual of late–also because it’s so creamy (Maybelline!). I rarely wear earrings and necklaces at the same time, but between this and re-watching Royal Pains, I might get on that train! Dress is a J.Crew boat neck I pushed off shoulders, hat is wool fedora I’ve worn since high school!
This fabulous dress is one of many wonderful sundresses my friend Haddie gave me in high school and college–all of which are now too small unfortunately. Looking for qualified subsequent owners if anyone wants to adopt! It reminded me of the Gucci “Formation” dress, though the print is lace, not words.
“Don’t Hurt Yourself”
Just rocking my [fake]fur and sweatpants and heels, as you do. I feel like Yeezy could have put one inch less fabric on the pants and one inch more on the top, but that underboob tho.
I don’t have a Gucci suit, or a house on fire, but I do have a new men’s shirt from Old Navy, and a drapey jacket from Pitaya, and two layers of Instagram filters!
“Hold Up” aka MY JAM
I have to say my enthusiasm for this dress as a dress is like directly opposed to my enthusiasm for the song…but the movement and color are incredible! I’m wearing a Jean Paul Gaultier for Target dress with a wool scarf tied around, and a yardstick for a bat–not nearly as effective as ‘hot sauce.’
#WednesBey week 2
I love the white/lace motif that runs through the costuming–I think it really helps build the fantastical and homo-social anti-racist space(s) of the film. It calls up intimacy for me–bedclothes and underthings; grandeur–white was historically a color for the rich who could afford to maintain it; decoration and self-presentation in the layering and delicate but strong lace; and of course purity and simplicity, as it is used in baptism, funerals, and purification rituals of many cultures. Actually, I often wear this eyelet dress, with the petticoat I wore for last #WednesBey under it, for Yom Kippur services, where white is often worn against vanity and in parallel to the traditional burial shroud.
The gorgeous dress Beyoncé wears in “All Night” and throughout encouraged me to dig into my kanga collection, and I wore this one as a scarf yesterday as one of my many layers against the vagaries of campus air conditioning. Kanga is the cloth worn often in matched sets as wrap skirt or dress and scarf/headscarf in Tanzania. They have sayings on them (read more about that here). This one, which most closely matched the color scheme of the fabric in Lemonade says: nimpe zawadi gani mama “which gift should I give to my mother.”
My kanga collection (5 sets of two) was given to me over time by my Auntie Alwiya (shikamoo Aunti!), who would periodically pull them out of a big drawer in the chest in her living room for me when she came back from visiting her mom in Zanzibar. I used to wear them all the time in high school and even sometimes in college, including even wrapping them as headscarves the way she did. They’ve gone untouched for a long time now, as I worry about their appropriation on my body. But their gorgeous patterns and aphorisms hold a lot of meaning for me personally and for a professional road I didn’t take: I studied KiSwahili intensively for two years in high school, and chose Cornell in part because they offered it; I did all my linguistics coursework projects for my BA on KiSwahili structure and history. I’m definitely happy to be corrected, but I think I can incorporate them back into my wardrobe carefully.
Anyway, of course kangas are East African and the Ankara fabric used in the Lemonade dress is West African (Nigerian), so I don’t at all want to collapse that difference. Their similarities are in the use of abstract and nature-based prints in a large range of colors, but that describes a great deal. Indeed, the ankara fabric is wax-dyed like batik whereas kangas are woven or printed. They do share an interesting colonial history though, with historical roots in Portuguese and Dutch fashion, trading, and colonialism, and were both historically (and to a certain extent still are) woven and produced in South-East Asia, where those powers also had colonies.
The whole look together:
Specs: I’m wearing a white eyelet dress from Old Navy, a 10 year old Isaac Mizrachi for target jacket, Nine West boots, and a necklace made by moi!–One of the only pieces of jewelry I’ve made while in grad school. As you can see above, there’s a lot of amazing neckwear throughout the film, so I wanted to give this necklace a try–it’s imperfect. I’m loving this bubble pony, inspired by Bey’s pigtails after “Love Drought” in fact I’m still wearing it today (Thursday!)
Bonus: “Haunted” for End-of-the Year MFA Reading
Epilog is the English MFA’s final reading of the year, and it’s a semi-formal event. I had been planning to wear a nice dress, but at the last minute, and having seen Sonnet’s #Wednesbey look from a few days before, I broke out my faux fur (Target) and cream tuxedo jacket (H&M)!
Have you been influenced by the look of Lemonade? Let us know! tag us or #WednesBey on our Instagram (@sartorialscholars) and Twitter (@sartorialschols) for Or you can always e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org