As we navigate another hugely successful festival season that saw headliners at Glastonbury, Coachella, and other top global festivals drop some sublime sets, something has become very apparent… you need to wear more than one outfit during your performance to get the lighters in the sky and the crowd dancing to the groove!
One artist whose outfit changes have become world-renowned is Katie Perry, she is well-documented for having some of the best dresses and wearing most of them on stage in one performance.
The pop singer did five quick changes during a rendition of her hugely popular number one single Hot’N’Cold – which would certainly compete against some uber-successful circus routines.
Onlookers have witnessed the lights dim during live shows by the likes of J-Lo and RiRi, only for the female stars to appear seconds later in completely different styles, but the question is, from head to toe, from hats to sandals, who’s doing it best in 2023?
Blue Jeans, Baby – and the rest
Speaking ahead of his farewell tour a few years ago to the New York Times, national treasure Elton John discussed his onstage fits. The Tiny Dancer singer said: “Look, I’m not Mick Jagger, Rod Stewart or David Bowie, tearing from one end of the stage to the other, I’m always bloody stuck at the piano, aren’t I? Clothes have always had to be part of the show that I put on. They made me memorable!”
The Creative Fashion Director to Vogue & long-time friend and stylist of Elton John, Jo Hambro, said: “There will be three costume changes per show; the first, the singer’s “maestro look,” which centres on an embroidered tailcoat, will open the night. Next will come a change into a bright, printed “rock ’n’ roll” suit before a final dressing gown over a tracksuit closes the shows.”
The style transitions that Elton John introduced to his performances throughout the years became the undeniable cornerstone. Up to his last show at Glastonbury just a matter of weeks ago, the 76-year-old was still as glamorous, sophisticated, and flamboyant in what he sported on stage as he always has been!
Unsurprising, given the team at Gucci had provided Elton with different varieties of each outfit for each of the 300 shows he performed.
Queen B-changing regularly
Queen Elizabeth II was credited with the title of ‘The Original Outfit-Repeater’ according to Vogue, with outfits belonging to Her Majesty having a shelf life of over 25 years despite Tatler revealing she was known to have donned between 5 & 7 outfits in one day!
From the Queen of England to the Queen of the stage…
As part of her sell-out worldwide Renaissance Tour, Beyonce rolls out nine outfit changes while on stage. Styled by the legendary Shinona Turini, Queen B, as she is affectionately known by her fans, donned an Alexander McQueen, a custom Mugler, a custom Tiffany ball gown and even sported an optical illusion Loewe catsuit – yes, we know!
Singing 22, wearing 16…
It’d be rude not to mention the Eras Tour when Taylor Swift is, in fact, dominating the outfit change phenomenon.
“The Eras wardrobe is not messing around. Curated by top-tier designers, we’ve seen at least 28 different looks if you count the costumes rotated out for different performances.” – BuzzFeed
A cream-coloured dress for Folklore, a Lavender Haze jacket and tee combo, a Midnight’s bodysuit, and an Enchanted golden sequined gown are just some of the styles brought to the stage by Taylor Swift on the Eras Tour that have fans going absolutely crazy.
Taylor successfully draws inspiration from the past 17 years of her career to collate a wardrobe that is undeniably outstanding and, in many respects, unbelievable.
Other notable mentions
There are a number of other artists who deserve recognition as of late. Dua Lipa introduced four different outfits to her Future Nostalgia Tour, Lizzo had three on the Special Tour, Rod Stewart had four on his final tour, and Black Pink graced the stage at Coachella 2023 with eight different variants.
Whatever your take on things, there’s no denying that it helps put on something of an amazing spectacle! Who’s your favourite serial outfit changer?