When we heard buzz that Beyoncé booked Grambling’s dance team and marching band for a private event during Coachella 2019 last weekend, it seemed like the appropriate second coming of Homecoming, the star’s triumphant Netflix special chronicling her history-making HBCU-inspired 2018 performance.
As it turned out, Bey was once again looking forward, not back. On Thursday night, she dropped a short fashion film titled Homecoming Weekend, featuring designs from the upcoming Adidas-backed relaunch of Ivy Park, her first major project in partnership with the sportswear giant. The iconic Adidas stripes made the perfect runway for the icon, who teased some very fashion-forward athleisure in more of the popping pink-and-gold scheme Balmain helped her serve up last year. And once again, it was an all-black affair.
As participating Grambling students told ABC Louisiana affiliate WBRZ 2, their brush with stardom was equally a surprise to them.
“We practiced for a few hours and didn’t perform until 1 a.m.,” said dance team member Alana Arvie. “Right before the performance, Beyoncé came back to where we got dressed and introduced herself and took pictures with us.”
“This is by far one of the hardest secrets I’ve had to keep,” Jalin Ford, Grambling State’s dance captain, captioned a post on Instagram. “Now to be able to say I performed 5 feet from Queen Bey herself as she cheered me on is only an opportunity put together by the lord and it only made me even more hungry to officially #tour with her one day.”
“The experience was nothing but an incredible feeling,” Arvie told WBRZ. “To be able to hug her and interact with her was priceless.”
Also feeling the Beyoncé love this week? Friend and “Sorry” video co-star Serena Williams, who staged a spontaneous and joyful performance of “Love on Top” while on set for her April cover shoot for Business of Fashion. Wearing a voluminous black taffeta gown by Valentino and singing the song Beyoncé performed while making the big reveal of her pregnancy with Blue Ivy at the 2011 VMAs, the tennis star inevitably caused some to wonder if she was making a big announcement of her own. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves, because no such statement has been made (and the star looks pretty svelte on the cover). From all appearances, “Love on Top” is just Serena’s jam. (Who are we kidding? It’s ours, too.)
What Williams has copped to is being a perfectionist—particularly when it comes to her own eponymous, almost year-old fashion line and the baby shower she recently threw for the due-any-day-now Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle.
“Planning something like that takes a lot of effort,” Williams told BoF. “I’m a perfectionist, so I’m like, ‘Let’s make it perfect.’”
That ethos extends to the clothing Williams sends to her bestie, who was photographed wearing a Serena “Boss Blazer” last fall.
“It’s so fun because people are like, ‘Oh my God. Like wow, the quality is crazy,’” Williams told BoF. “Listen, if we’re giving our stuff to Meghan, it has to be the highest quality that we can get. So, that’s what I tell our team internally: ‘We have to make sure it’s super high quality that, you know, is fit for a royal princess!’”
Sounds like love on top, to us.
The Glow Up tip: Los Angeles residents, at 3 p.m. on Friday, April 26, Serena Williams will appear at a talk and exclusive signing for Business of Fashion at Westfield Century City in the Atrium.
Updated: Friday, 4/26/19 at 12:17 p.m., ET: Proving that no one can orchestrate a drop like Beyoncé—and that Queen Bey is also the queen of getting bodied in bodysuits—soon after our post, the megastar posted a series of Adidas-laden images, including an “I’m Feeling Myself”-worthy red-and-white number. After seeing these pics, we’re pretty sure the term “sneakerhead” will never be quite the same.