Beyoncé isn’t eligible for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame just yet, but that didn’t stop curator Meredith Rutledge from digging into her epic costume collection. The singer’s fabulous threads are currently on display at the Legends of Rock exhibit alongside greats like Michael Jackson and Jimi Hendrix. Here, Rutledge takes us through seven stand-out moments from Bey’s career thus far.
ESSENCE.com: What is the criteria to get a costume exhibition at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?
MEREDITH RUTLEDGE: We choose artists for inclusion in Rock and Roll Hall of Fame exhibits based on the artist’s significance and their cultural impact, and there’s no denying Beyoncé has made her mark on our culture. Rock and roll and fashion are so closely linked, and fans really connect with their favorite artists’ style. Because Beyoncé is such a visually exciting artist, this exhibition of her clothing brings her close to her fans in a really tangible way.
ESSENCE.com: What makes a standout costume?
MEREDITH RUTLEDGE: Lots of different factors decide what works or doesn’t for a artists’ look. In Beyoncé’s case, you can see from the variety in the collection of items that we have on exhibit that she looks great whatever she wears! Rock and roll really is an attitude and a mind-set more than anything else, and an artist like Beyoncé, who can communicate that kind of fierce rock and roll attitude through her style, is doing it right!
ESSENCE.com: How involved was Beyoncé in the actual selection and set-up process?
RUTLEDGE: Beyoncé personally approved every item that was sent, and her team worked closely with us on styling and supervising the installation.
ESSENCE.com: Which was that extra special piece for her –– a must for her to include?
RUTLEDGE: We initially asked for Beyoncé’s 2013 Superbowl halftime outfit. Her team came back and offered a more extensive collection, and it was my dream that we might be able to include her “Dangerously In Love” album cover outfit – that was the holy grail as far as I was concerned! I’m thrilled that we have that piece as part of the collection, it’s spectacular!
ESSENCE.com: Which past Hall of Famer/legend would you compare her style to?
RUTLEDGE: I would compare Beyoncé’s style to Tina Turner’s – they both have that fearless, powerful, yet ultra-feminine aura. Both ladies are so obviously comfortable in their skin, and they exude a confidence and rock and roll attitude that makes them look outstanding whether they are in jeans or couture.
Check out the exhibition above and more of curator Meredith Rutedge dishing on the details!