10 Iconic Destiny’s Child Performance Outfits In Honor Of Super Bowl Reunion Rumors

In case your direct-to-brain-from-Beyhive app is broken: rumor has it that when Queen Beyonce plays Super Bowl XLVII this weekend, there will be a special, super-spectacular, long-awaited, brain-detonating performance by Destiny’s Child. Should the internet be correct, and should Destiny’s Child indeed reunite, you can basically divine their setlist: after Beyonce does her thing, Kelly and Michelle will emerge to fireworks and new song “Nuclear,” then they’ll bust off a medley of some of their greatest hits, topped off with “Independent Women Part 1,” which they must have performed at 365 awards shows during the Year of Charlie’s Angels, anno domini. The real stumper is, after more than six years apart…what will they possibly wear? Since their last show together in 2005, they’ve all done complete style 180s, each going in the direction of higher fashion for their more frequent solo red carpets. (They have also clearly been freed from the girl-group albatross of wearing matching ensembles, racing forth like wild ponies fleeing a burning forest into the life-sustaining clothing racks of their individual personalities. Hallelu, hallelu.)

Hoping for a crystal ball into their potential Superbowl estilo, we spent hours face-deep in YouTube, scouting some of the most memorable costumes the quartet-ternt-trio ever wore live, and breaking them down with our eagle eyes chronologically here. Bonus shadow-styling courtesy Beyonce’s mama Tina Knowles, whose manicured hands were in these ladies’ boudoirs long before House of Deréon was birthed into the world.

LIKE A TUPAC COWBOY (2000)

Destiny’s Child.
Photo: Getty Images

Early DC were ardent aficionados of distressed denim, particularly whilst embellished with rhinestones, embroidery, and creative scissor-work—note in this photo, snapped at London’s Hyde Park on New Year’s Day 2000, Kelly Rowland’s victory-V hem is joined by chopped-off beltloops…because waistlines! Who needs ’em! During the Destiny’s Child/The Writing’s on the Wall eras, circa ’98-’00, they were often set on regular-gal vibes, repping rough-and-tumble home state Texas with workwear like this, while staying true to the strong-woman emittances of their music. Abdominals: it ain’t no joke. That said, it’s surprising to see LaToya Luckett and Michelle Williams wearing such similar jeans-and-tank-top ensembles, because part of the Destiny’s Child mystique, of course, was that they always rocked similar fabrics but wildly different silhouettes. Beyonce’s ’Pac bandana tank-top thingamajig is bringing back sharply technicolor memories of the early ’00s…when people were prone to wearing (and DIY’ing!) bandana tank-top thingamajigs. #neverforget

PROTO-DEREON (2000)

Destiny’s Child.
Photo: Getty Images

From jump, the distinct personalities of the DC girls has been delineated in part by their ensembles. In general, Beyonce got the shortest skirts and otherwise revealing clothing, with Kelly a close second. After Farrah “left” the group, Michelle Williams assumed the more sensible pant looks, though nothing was set in stone. In this costume quartet of ice-blue crepe, Tina Knowles was flossing her inner Dereon with just-so revealing lace appliques, presaging some of the garden-soiree detailing that emerged later in her line. Beyonce’s pum-pum skort is overshadowed only by the bananas bell sleeve of her belly-baring top, but in this case, we think Michelle got the best outfit: those tight trousers with the see-through thighs looking so Y2K chic. Accessories? Pshh. Midriff, dahling. (Oh, and Bey’s navel piercing.)

POMEGRANATE PASSION (2000)

Destiny’s Child.
Photo: Getty Images

You’re not a pop star unless you’ve pranced onstage in iridescent pleather—preferably in plum, the color of the everlasting soul of Prince. There are those midsections again, staring us in the face like a dare to go home and do 152 crunches, but can you blame Destiny’s Child for wanting a little ventilation in these studded body-huggers, stunting under hot lights? If we actually thought it was possible that these preternatural ladies ever actually perspired, we’d presume that wide headband was there to catch the gilded sweat-beads of the earthly goddess Beyonce. Instead, our eyeline goes directly to Michelle’s diamonique belly belt, and we remember the early aughties with cautious optimism: pair these pieces with some Balenciaga studded sandals ca. 2010, and with the right cajones you’ve got yourself an enduring look.

CLASSIC GOLD LAMÉ (2001)

Destiny’s Child.
Photo: Getty Images

Destiny’s Child wore these iconic ensembles during MTV’s 2001 TRL tour which, before we continue, let us pour one out: the ladies were accompanied by 3LW, Eve, Nelly, and Dream (the girl group on Bad Boy, not the Terius with the hyphen). Our clear nepotism aside, this had to have been one of the greatest multi-headliner pop/R&B arena tours of the 21st Century, with apologies to NKOTB, Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees. Moving on, 2001 was really when DC was storing up starpower, having racked up a slew of number ones and scoring their first number-one album in Survivor. And if you’re advertising your indefatigable “Bootylicious“ness on a global FM basis, it’s an excellent idea to back it up with something that flosses your chutzpah…like, you know, GOLD LAMÉ AND DIAMONDS, IN A NICE BRALET AND HOT PANT. The slatted gauntlets were a teensy bit like throwing the whole jar of maraschinos on their triple-fudge sundae, but screw it: when you’re kicking ass from Houston to the moon, you deserve to accessorize. Not pictured: K.Row’s Charlie’s Angels knee-high boots in matching lamé, of course.

CARIBBEAN CAMO FRINGE (2001)

Destiny’s Child.
Photo: Getty Images

You can’t see it, but Beyonce’s cheerleader skirt is not just a micro-mini comprised of fringe fabric pieces, but it is also asymmetrical, the right side beginning at the hip and cascading down to mid-thigh. This is not something we would have divined, but with those bikini tops and blue camo, we can absolutely see the trio at a Kingston soundclash, toasting each others’ diet rum punches while contemplating the decorative function of the fringe at the bottom of Kelly’s bra top. This highly specific, sexy-diva street look was exactly how we knew, even early on, that no one else could pull it off like Destiny’s Child.

UPTOWN BOSS UP (2004)

Destiny’s Child.
Photo: Getty Images

As time went on, and the ladies matured into full-blown superstars—and as they geared up for their fifth and final album, Destiny Fulfilled—their looks developed, as well. During this performance at the 2004 Radio Music Awards, they projected full-on uptown sophisticate in floor-length furs (silver mink?) and apres-hours trousers in sparkly slate, channeling a long tradition of Harlem power-players getting dressed up for ladies’ nights out. (Accordingly, their performance of “Lose My Breath” began with an a cappella jazz harmony, their stylist and their music director working in perfect synergy.) Especially in contrast with the belt-less jeans of yore, we’re totally convinced Beyonce should only ever wear a high-waisted pant from now until forever.

CAVALLI AT THE MET (2004)

Destiny’s Child.
Photo: Getty Images

In 2004, Roberto Cavalli pulled out every stop for the opening of “Wild: Untamed Fashion at the Met,” an exhibit celebrating animal prints and influence in fashion. Yet DC took a demure turn for their performance, appearing in Cavalli gowns whose only animalistic qualities were the snakelike cut-outs near Bey and Kelly’s obliques. And it’s in this one photo that we start to see where the trio’s fashion senses diverge, less concerned with girl-group matching and more about projecting the women they would become. Beyonce’s vampy, glammy train is all about her current elegance, while Kelly’s pre-Angelina leg slit shows her breaking out into the sexy-classy dresser she is now. And Michelle? Michelle’s a more conventional dresser, opting for classic silhouettes, like this 1930s torch singer shape. God, this one image is totally like reading their fashion tarot cards, JUST CALL US MISS CLEO IF YOU’RE NASTY.

OUTRAGEOUS FURZONE (2004)

Destiny’s Child.
Photo: Getty Images

BUT NOT SO FAST! Destiny Fulfilled was like, the most contract-satisfying-appropriate album title ever, and they couldn’t diverge too much from what made them their own brand of style icons. On TRL in 2004, they reminded us of their career-long penchant for interesting fabrics, unorthodox embellishments, and defiance with a touch of streetwear, exploding in a burst of mountain-woman fur, shearling, and feathers, as if they’d hunted down and scavenged their own costumes. We’ll never get down on shearling, especially since it’s a staple of the New York rapper wardrobe—hope to baby Jay-Zesus that Kelly was wearing high-heeled Timbs—but particularly incredible was Beyonce’s Davy Crockett bra, complete with suede trousers that, given the year, we’d also bet were calf-length and secured by a string. We’ll remember your Alamo, Beyonce Knowles!

GOOD NIGHT DERÉON BARBIE (2005)

Destiny’s Child.
Photo: Getty Images

Tina Knowles premiered her fashion label at Conde Nast’s 2005 Fashion Rocks! concert, with DC doing living-mannequin poses underneath a play Deréon storefront. It was the year of the boxy, tunic-y silhouette, so the girls’ performance ensembles were halfway between ’60s nighties and go-go dancer babydolls—you’d be forgiven if you thought of Austin Powers’ evil boob-bot foils, shooting bullets from their, um, bullet bras. Even still, this look was cute for the stage and the year, particularly Kelly’s pale blue-and-gold shift, which looks phenomenal with her skintone—once more, this look was about visual symmetry, rather than exactly matching fabrics and patterns. This was their final year as a group, and they were asserting their unique styles.

GIVE US SOMETHING TO BELIEVE IN (2005)

Destiny’s Child.
Photo: Getty Images

If Destiny’s Child does indeed reunite (pleasepleasepleasepleaseplease), we’re hoping they appear in something akin to their costumes at the World Music Awards in 2005—one of their final shows. Because here, it all came together: they paid their girlgroup homage with the minidresses and Supremes-ready silver, in shapes that flattered their bodies, busting equal amounts high glam and performative spunkiness (plus legs for days). This Sunday, if it happens (ugh!!), we’re predicting similar smart choices—perhaps in graphic black-and-white, in keeping with Spring 2013 themes [Ed note: and Bey’s promo image]. Or maybe they could just resurrect this guy? Whatever it is, Destiny’s Child has proven again and again over their career: it’s not what you wear, it’s how you wear it.

+ DESTINY’S CHILD PERFORMANCE OUTFIT PHOTOS

Like us on Facebook so we can be friends and follow us on Twitter @MTVstyle to talk.