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Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 21 July 2018

Deconstructing the meaning (and brands) in Beyonce and Jay-Z's music video

As Beyonce and Jay-Z release their 'Everything Is Love' album, we take a look at the video and what it means

Beyonce pairs Messika jewellery with her Peter Pilotto suit
Beyonce pairs Messika jewellery with her Peter Pilotto suit

Not too long ago, Beyoncé and Jay-Z were plagued by tales of marital infidelity, and Becky with the Good Hair and the world worried if this pop-star union would survive.

Now, not only has the relationship survived, but it has strengthened, if their latest video is anything to go by.

Released under their family name – Carter – to prove the two superstars are now inseparable, the title of the album is Everything Is Love.

For the first single, Apesh*t, the pair filmed the video in none other than the Musee du Louvre in Paris, which aside from being almost impossible to gain access to – unless your surname is Carter, evidently – is also home to some of the most famous artworks in the world.

The result is a video that is loaded with art, symbolism, and lots and lots of very expensive clothes.

Peter Pilotto with Messika diamonds

The pair stand in front of the world most famous painting: the Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci. Beyonce matches her girlie pink suit by Peter Pilotto with Messika diamonds (diamonds are a girl's best friend), while Jay-Z opts for a more masculine shade of blue. Starring straight into camera, it is impossible not to draw comparisons between the duo and the inscrutable lady behind them.

Versace

Beyonce dons opulent Versace to re-enact Marie-Guillemine Benoist's painting Portrait of a Negress (painted in 1800), which was the first time a woman of colour was depicted for her own sake, rather than a slave or as a thing of curiosity. An important benchmark in European thinking, and part of the glacial move away from slavery, it is no coincidence this painting was chosen. Jay-Z, meanwhile, wears all black, apart from the gleaming gold chain around his neck.

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Burberry

Jacques Louis-David's painting The Coronation of the Emperor Napoleon I and the Crowning of the Empress Josephine in Notre Dame Cathedral (1807) is the background for Beyonce surrounded by her dancers. Wearing Burberry, Beyonce is in the centre, and fully in charge, as is Napoleon in the painting behind her. It is telling that Beyonce aligns herself with the emperor, and not his wife.

Beyonce wears custom made MCM in ApeSh*t video
Beyonce wears custom-made MCM

Couture

The pair dress in all white to stand below the The Winged Victory of Samothrace, a masterpiece in Parian marble. In a sculptural gown by couture house Stephane Rolland, and rippling Alexis Mabille cape, Beyonce looks like Nike herself.

MCM

In the crypts of the museum sits the Great Sphinx of Tanis, which is one of the largest outside Egypt and discovered in 1825. Here, Beyonce wears a custom-made, tan leather bodysuit, hat and coat by MCM x Misa Hylton, and knee-high boots from Y/Project, the label headed by Glenn Martens.

Click below to watch the music video:

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Read more:

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Beyoncé and Jay-Z release surprise album 'Everything Is Love'

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