If it was a big night at the Grammys for Beyoncé, picking up the award for Best Urban Contemporary Lemonade and delivering a powerful speech about the beauty of being black—to say nothing of her soon-to-be-legendary performance—it was an even bigger night for designer Peter Dundas.Album for
He designed the gold numbers she wore, his first solo creations under his own name to hit the red carpet.
Before launching his eponymous label, Dundas was most recently the creative director of Roberto Cavalli and headed up Emilio Pucci for six years prior to that. He’s been dressing Beyoncé for more than a decade. There’s the marigold off-the-shoulder stunner she wears in the Lemonade video; he created costumes for two of her tours, Mrs. Carter and Formation; and he’s also the guy behind the dresses she chose for President Barack Obama’s second inauguration in 2013 and the Met Ball in 2011, which was Beyonce’s best Met Ball in this writer’s humble opinion.
“Beyoncé and I have a long working relationship. I think she wanted someone she trusted and connected with on several levels, and felt the Lemonade dress had particularly been that,” Dundas told me. “She also knew I was going solo and liked being the first to wear my new collection. Also we both love yellow!”
According to Dundas, the dress took one week to embroider with 50 people working on it constantly. It mixed Gustav Klimt influence, Art Deco motifs inspired by Erté, and lyrics from Beyonce’s song “Love Drought.” Sun rays symbolize the African goddess Oshun. Dundas also added two cherubs on the hips dressed in ivy and Beyoncé’s face on the center. “I like creating stories within a garment,” he said. “It was a fun way to celebrate the moment for her.”
As for designing around a baby bump, Dundas said, “it’s particular mainly because her measurements were constantly changing, and also keeping it a secret from my collaborators became increasingly challenging as she grew.” The secret’s out now. We’re looking forward to seeing what Dundas does next.