Beyoncé just added another award to her vast collection, with board chairman and designer Diane von Furstenberg presenting Bey with the CFDA Fashion Icon prize, previously awarded to the likes of Pharrell, Rihanna, Kate Moss and Nicole Kidman. The singer wore a sparkly Givenchy tux—a nod to MJ and Bowie—and large-brim hat a la “Formation” to accept the award and thanked her mom and grandmother, both talented seamstresses, for their life-long influence on her style. “My mother actually designed my wedding dress, my prom dress, my first CFDA Award dress, my first Grammy dress, and the list goes on and on,” Bey said. “And this to me is the true power and potential of fashion. It’s a tool for finding your own identity.”
There’s no denying that Miss Knowles is a pop culture fixture whose influence extends well beyond her Grammy-winning hits, igniting political discourse and countless thinkpieces on issues of race, gender and social equality. But her place as a pillar of fashion is not so firm. While we brace for the inevitable Beyhive backlash, hear us out.
1. She’s too concerned with looking perfect. Virtually every single look of Beyoncé’s is way too contrived and safe—real style takes chances. She’s definitely a follower and not an original when it comes to fashion.
2. She has no personal style. Consider for a minute actual fashion icons like Jane Birkin, Audrey Hepburn, Patti Smith, Stevie Nicks—each of these women has a look that is totally her own. Even modern day fashion darlings like Alexa Chung, Kristen Stewart and Binx Walton have a recognizable style identity. But what exactly is Beyoncé’s personal style? Let’s figure that out and then we can talk icon status.
3. She has zero street style. Yes she slays the red carpet (thanks to the help of an entire team, obvs), but there’s rarely been a time where she’s slayed walking out her front door. Her go-to look is more bathing suit cover-up while sailing on a yacht than anything else, which doesn’t really inspire.
4. She can’t hold a candle to Solange. Take Beyoncé and put her in an average family, and maaaaaybe she’s the most stylish sister. But in the Knowles tribe, there’s just no way she can compete with Solange (who amongst us could, tbh?). Case in point: look at how Solange slayed the sparkly tux look TWO YEARS AGO versus Bey’s tap-dance-recital-costume rendition from last night:
5. She’s late to the party. If we’re being super generous, Beyoncé has had about five culturally significant, influential fashion moments over the past decade. Worse than that? She’s been behind on every. single. one. of them. Crazy in Love’s Versace plunging neckline? JLo did it three years earlier AND bared more skin. Her barely-there Givenchy gown at the 2015 Met Gala? Rihanna did it the year before at the CFDAs, where SHE was (rightfully) being honoured. This year’s attempt at suffocating nude latex at the Met Gala? Gaga’s built her entire career on it. Is she the biggest cultural icon of our generation? Probably. Is she a fashion icon? F-ck no.