Time to impressTime to impress

Beyonce goes sabra with ‘Freakum dress’

Singer dons a gown by a local ‘Project Runway’ winner for her world tour

Jessica Steinberg covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center.

Beyonce in her 'Freakum Dress' designed by Alon Livne (via Facebook)
Beyonce in her ‘Freakum Dress’ designed by Alon Livne (via Facebook)

Singer Beyonce’s got a new dress, one of more than 10 for her recently-opened Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, but this cherry-red chiffon-paneled gown was made by Israeli designer Alon Livne, who was more than a little thrilled about his brush with stardom.

“You’re talking about a woman who’s professional and pleasant,” said Livne, who works out of Tel Aviv and New York. “Beyonce is a huge star today and it’s clearly a major honor to dress her for the show alongside other famous and well-known fashion houses.”

It’s called the “Freakum Dress” for the song Beyonce sings when she and her dancers wear the garment. Thatfunk/R&B piece advises women to wear alluring dresses when their partner’s eyes tend to stray.

(Oh) Cause when he acts wrong (Oh) that’s when you put it on,
(Oh) Been on him up tight (Oh) this is your song
(Oh) Hold out your back (Oh) time to impress
(Oh) Pull out your freakum dress

It was Beyonce’s stylist who first caught a glimpse of Livne’s work during New York’s Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in February, although the original dress was in black, like the rest of Livne’s collection.

The original dress, in black, as worn at Tel Aviv Fashion Week (photo credit: Avi Waldman)
The original dress, in black, as worn at Tel Aviv Fashion Week (photo credit: Avi Waldman)

The same dress was first shown at Tel Aviv Fashion Week in April 2011, and then again at New York Fashion Week, which Livne decided to join just two weeks in advance. Once Beyonce decided on the gown, they made changes that “fitted the star,” said Livne, adding that he and Beyonce met soon after Fashion Week, settling on the alterations and color.

“She really loved it and decided to wear it for the ‘Freakum Dress’ number, which tells about a girl who’s getting ready for the biggest party in town and wants to wear a dress that will leave everyone with their mouths hanging open,” he added. “You can see the final product onstage already. She’s already worn it in Eastern Europe and in Amsterdam and will be wearing it in more than 100 countries.”

Livne has worked as a designer since he was 17, first training at Alexander McQueen in London and then with Roberto Cavalli in Milan, where he focused on evening wear. He went on to win first prize on “Project Runway” Israel during the 2009 season.

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