Look By Look: Beyoncé’s ‘Run The World (Girls)’ Video With Exclusive Stylist Interview

There’s a great deal you could say about Beyoncé’s “Run The World (Girls)” video, directed by Francis Lawrence (the auteur behind Lady Gaga’s “Bad Romance”, among others), regarding the fact that she KEEPS bodying the ENTIRE WORLD with her unbelievable bodaciousness and message of female empowerment and unrivaled joy. I mean, Ms. Bey dances like she’s giving off the type of energy that could achieve spaceflight, and the fact that she does all of this in the most face-meltingly SUBLIME fashion is a rare and sumptuous event.

The postapocalyptic scrubland makes for a perfectly austere backdrop that makes all that floor-length drama, metal, syncopated bassline, ANIMALS, and McQueen POP. The styling genius behind all of the looks that run the gamut from Givenchy to Brian Lichtenberg and Jean Paul Gaultier to Norma Kamali is none other than Ty Hunter, aided by his assistant stylist Raquel Smith. Another awesome thing about Ty? Not only did he give us an EXCLUSIVE interview, he made ABSOLUTELY sure that his assistant was also name-dropped for this piece, which soooorta speaks volumes about how hard he rules. <3

MTV Style: ZOMG. We are so excited about this video. We basically want to dress up in matching outfits with 30 of our closest girlfriends and take to the streets.

Ty Hunter:[Laughs] Right?

YES! We want to know EVERYTHING. Word is, she wears a lot of her own stuff in the video.

Yes! So, that whole section? The amazing red Alexander McQueen dress? I can’t even take credit for that. That was out of Beyoncé’s closet. That was her personal dress, and in that scene, every single female that has on Alexander McQueen and all that high-end fashion, that whole section with the lion is all of Beyoncé’s personal clothes she’s worn in the past.

A still from Beyoncé’s ’Run The World (Girls)’ video.
Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Records

Wow! We see Chanel and Balmain and Lanvin. *Sigh* We’re dying. So it makes sense to hang out with her knowing that one day you might borrow from her fabulous archive [Laughs]?

Yes! [Laughs] All the way down to the shoes, that whole section is filled with all of the things that she’s worn and been photographed in. We got together and put all the clothes in garment bags, and she wanted all the girls to have a section of the video where they’re all in couture.

Can I just say that crown made my entire staff’s heads fall off? It was GORGEOUS. We kept pausing to see how intricate it was.

That’s Erickson Beamon. They actually made it expressly for us. The creative director of the video, Jenke-Ahmed Tailly, and I got together trying to figure out this whole queen concept, and we needed a crown. Erickson Beamon make such beautiful pieces, and when they said they’d do it, we knew it would turn out to be amazing.

Did all of you collaborate to make sketches and edit?

Nope, we just knew they would come through. And when that box came and we opened it, it was like, “Oh my god. THIS is perfect.”

A still from Beyoncé’s ’Run The World (Girls)’ video.
Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Records

Let’s talk about the other hardware. The Zanotti. Oh, man… the gold Zanotti necklace/sternum armor/cummerbund thing. Gorgeous.

Yes, yes! I actually have a person that works for me, Raquel Smith, who came with that body piece from Giuseppe Zanotti, and that just totally made everything. They’ve actually custom-made that in different materials like silver and leather. It’s been great, and we play on the theme to use it every now and then for performances.

A still from Beyoncé’s ’Run The World (Girls)’ video.
Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Records

And the interplay between the shine and the fur is awesome as well. That’s what I love about this video: You’ve got some boutique L.A. designers like Brian Lichtenberg, who made that black shrug. He’s enormously talented.

I called him on the phone. He is a little bit newer, but we actually used his designs in “Diva.” He’s great! It was a section where he made these crazy hats and headgear. The lace bodysuit? He actually custom made that, too. But those shoes in that scene?

The black tassel ones?

Yes! I made those.

A still from Beyoncé’s ’Diva’ video.
Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Records

Nuh uh! I love the range between the custom-made/boutique/newish/personally handmade to the pulls you made from hardcore houses like Givenchy and Jean Paul Gaultier.

It’s just that everything fit the vision perfectly.

A still from Beyoncé’s ’Diva’ video.
Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Records. Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci, Spring 2011, Couture

A still from Beyoncé’s ’Diva’ video.
Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Records. Jean Paul Gaultier, Spring 2011, Couture

For a fashion nerd, there are just so many Easter eggs that come at you so fast. The quick contrast between white and black is stunning and, of course, we have all that SHINE from one of our favorite designers, Gareth Pugh. The armor, chainmail, armadillo plated gold ensemble with the matching shoes. Breathtaking! AND it’s been a while since we’ve seen Pugh x Beyoncé.

I had Gareth’s number from when we went to a party in London and we pulled from his last collection, which I’ll have you know Beyoncé didn’t wear, since Sasha Fierce wears Gareth Pugh, and so I texted him and was like, “This is what I need…” And he had this one-of-a-kind dress and he had those amazing shoes and I was like, “YAY!”

A still from Beyoncé’s ’Run The World (Girls)’ video.
Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Records

The jewelry that accompanies it is a lovely touch.

That’s Laruicci, a young jewelry designer [Lauren Ruicci] who I met last year. She did some different pearl necklaces for the “Why Don’t You Love Me” video, and I went to her showroom and saw the gold rings and I was like, “This is perfect for that” and you know everything just kind of worked out.

A still from Beyoncé’s ’Run The World (Girls)’ video.
Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Records

A still from Beyoncé’s ’Single Ladies’ video.
Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Records

I feel like the aesthetic is a continuation of some of the hardware that we see in “Single Ladies” and “Diva.”

Yeah, it was like the new take on the beautiful Lorraine Schwartz handpiece that everybody loved and couldn’t stop talking about but just in rings.

Let’s talk about the Puccis! We’ve been anticipating more Pucci since the infamous Met Gala dress. The yellow dress was incredible, but the fact that Bey can dance her face off like that in the cutout green dress blew us away!

A still from Beyoncé’s ’Run The World (Girls)’ video.
Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Records

Yeah, Peter [Dundas] at Pucci is so nice! He actually let us use the green dress, and when Bey was getting ready, she put it on—nobody knows this so this is exclusive—he lent us the green dress and it was set to be shot in Vogue. There was like a big deal behind this green dress! Anyway, it was, like, the showstopper! So [Beyoncé] puts it on like she was getting ready to dance, and the sleeve was made out of a delicate sequin fabric. And it already had like a little hole in it, so it ran!

NOOOOO!

Yes! So we actually took scissors and cut the sleeve off! And we were going to put the sleeve back on, but Jenke took it with him when he returned to New York and I was like, “OK, well, I’m going to have to return the dress, but the sleeve is somewhere else.” [Laughs] So they ended up knowing we cut the sleeve off, but it worked out perfectly and the fact that we took a couture piece and put combat boots with it was what really made it.

Totally.

A still from Beyoncé’s ’Run The World (Girls)’ video.
Photo: Courtesy of Columbia Records

+ WATCH THE FULL BEYONCÉ ’RUN THE WORLD (GIRLS)’ VIDEO BELOW!!!