While the Canadian artist tried to rally a post-COVID crowd into football frenzy, he wore a glittering number by the French fashion house.
While we don’t doubt the historical significance of Super Bowl LV—particularly for Tampa Bay’s ageless wonder Tom Brady—most of the storylines surrounding the Sunday event were not about the one-sided Sunday game itself.
As usual, a lot of the discussion online immediately following the event has been about the halftime performance, which has become a global platform since pop acts started replacing traditional marching bands back in 1990s. The world has seen everything from Gloria Estefan bopping around with figure skaters to Aerosmith and NSYNC jamming as an intersection of genres to even unfortunate wardrobe accidents that people can’t seem to stop referring to for more than a decade (We’re with you, Miss Janet).
Blinding lights, shimmering clothes
This year, the performer was Abel Makkonen Tesfaye AKA The Weeknd. The Canadian singer songwriter took on the entire Raymond James Stadium alone, which is rare. Only the likes of Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Prince, and Paul McCartney have had the distinction of not sharing the Super Bowl spotlight with another big name—which points to the stature Mr. Tesfaye has reached and his ability to mesmerize a fairly large venue.
During his 14-minute set, he took on such hits such as “Star Boy” and “Can’t Feel My Face” from the stands before moving on to the field for “Blinding Lights.” All throughout, he had on a fully hand-embroidered jacket filled with crystals, which shimmered every so often as lights streaked around the 65,000-capacity stadium.
That jacket is another creation from the Givenchy Haute Couture atelier in Paris that been seen on a pop superstar recently. Last month, Lady Gaga had a pristine cape dress on as she prayed at the US Capitol just before President Joe Biden’s inauguration. Matthew Williams, the French luxury brand’s creative director for its men’s and women’s collections, was responsible for both.
Fresh new take
Williams says that it was an honor to dress The Weeknd for his take on the Super Bowl stage. “To me, fashion is all about infusing what you wear with a unique personality, and The Weeknd brought his look to life with his energy, character and sense of style,” says the 35-year-old American designer.
It took four embroiderers and more than 250 hours of work to complete the jacket, which was worn over a black cotton poplin shirt, wool trousers, a black leather tie, gloves, and black and white derbies. Style and culture observers described the whole look as an elevated version of the artist’s signature 70s look.
On an Instagram post that showed him arms wide open and jacket in full display, The Weeknd writes that he couldn’t stop smiling, and thanked everyone for believing in him to bring a fresh new take on halftime show. We think that props should also be given to Mr. Williams.