When I saw Beyoncé's Grammy performance outfit last night, I assumed that bodysuit was sewn onto her torso in a fancy hotel suite while she soaked one hand in cuticle oil and wrote a $200,000 check for Blue Ivy's second birthday party with the other. The leotard looked so expensive, and also, she's Beyoncé—even her tights were Saint Laurent.
But as the bodysuit's designer can attest, things didn't quite work like that. Turns out Beyoncé's often too busy to carve time out for fittings, so she'll wear a tailored version of an off-the-rack piece instead of commissioning a one-off. Which is to say: it's way, way easier to crib last night's Beyoncé performance look than you might think. Here, the bodysuit's designer, Nichole de Carle dishes on the bodysuit, and what it was like to work with Bey:
"It's actually not the first time we've gotten a request to dress Beyoncé," de Carle told me from London this morning. "She's got this wonderful styling team, especially Karen Langley, and they're very comfortable with our products, fit, and style." As they should be— de Carle might not be as well known as, say, La Perla, but she has designed lingerie looks for performers like Jessie J and Cheryl Cole.
Often de Carle will custom tailor her lingerie in person, but in this case, she had to do things differently. "Beyoncé's schedule is very busy, often leaving little or no time for fitting appointments," she said. "So for the Grammys, we had to work with her given measurements instead of fitting her in person. Fortunately, we have a London-based production facility with a very skilled team, so we could create a well-fitted bespoke product for her in a small time frame."
To do so, de Carle's team took an existing piece—the Onyx Tuxedo bodysuit, above—and tweaked it for Beyoncé,"hand-crafting the garment, fitting it to the specific bespoke sizes given, then checking it over for quality control and giving it a final hand-finishing." Seems like it worked: even with all the chair-dancing and ass-slapping going on last night, it was still hard to take our eyes of Beyoncé's clothes.
Buy de Carle's Onyx Tuxedo bodysuit, $597, here
This post originally appeared on ELLE.com