She is the queen after all.
After four years away from the big stage, Beyoncé returned for an exclusive set at the tip of Palm Jumeirah in Dubai, for the opening of the Atlantis The Royal. Guests like Kendall Jenner sat alongside Jay-Z and other big named celebs at the invite-only gathering. The intimate crowd was treated to a fireworks display that ushered in the music legend.
Queen Bey’s fanbase, called the “Beyhive” had much to celebrate following news of her spectacular performance. The grand comeback comes just weeks ahead of the internet-breaking Renaissance tour announcement—the first in nearly seven years. The tour kicks off in May 2023 and runs continuously to September, with locations across Europe and North America.
It’s fitting that the “first lady of music” chooses to kick off her comeback with a halo; a symbol that alludes to the musician’s 2008 song, while conjuring imagery evocative of religious Renaissance-era artworks. Beyoncé paired the headdress with a bright red bodysuit by Lebanese designer Nicolas Jebran. The embellishments on her bodice mimicked that of an Elizabethan corset, especially with matching opera gloves and a structured train.
Pinoy fans will be delighted to find out that the star’s sunburst crown was designed by none other than Filipino jewelry designer Chris Habana. The New York-based creative has created pieces for the likes of Doja Cat, Willow Smith, Viola Davis, and Kid Cudi.
“Usually when working on projects for Beyoncé, I don’t converse with her directly but instead her ideas and preferences are shared with us through her stylists,” Habana tells Vogue Philippines. “[We] work very closely together to achieve the final goal. I appreciate that whenever I receive a request from her and her team, there’s a genuine interest and respect for my perspective on design and how we execute it.”
Habana says that this actually wasn’t the first halo the studio has taken on. “We’ve actually had some opportunities to design halo crowns in the past, most notably with SZA’s 2018 debut at the Met Gala, but this halo for Beyoncé is a hyper-realized version of that crown,” he says.
According to the designer, this prior experience gave him and the team an upper hand to deal with their tight deadline, since they only had a little over a week to put together the stunning piece
“Conceptually, I took the classic visual elements of a halo, its connection to celestial bodies, and wanted to create a more minimal sleek yet visually grand piece,” Habana explains. “It also needed to be lightweight as she needed to perform in it with ease.”
The designer was able to incorporate his own inspirations into the headdress while infusing the hotel’s branding into it. After sketching three options, Beyoncé’s stylist KJ Moody and the rest of her creative team chose two to produce, though only one was worn during her set.
“The sunburst style that made the performance was made all by hand from scratch using various techniques from soldering to polishing and plating, assembly, and [Swarovski] crystal embellishing.”
Habana tells us that the team was very conscious of what materials to use in order to keep the design’s impact without sacrificing Beyoncé’s comfort and ability to move around. In the end, the team settled on aluminum rods to keep it metallic yet lightweight.
It’s this process of perpetual learning and problem-solving, especially for custom pieces, that Habana says he enjoys the most.
“We’ve done a lot!” He muses. “I blinked and all of a sudden we were on some of the biggest names in music and pop culture. I feel very lucky to have had that trajectory so far. “