Arts, Culture & Entertainment

Fashion review: Mary J. Blige performs in custom Dundas at the 2022 Super Bowl halftime show

It’s time to put some respect on Mary’s fashion game. The singer’s costume for the Super Bowl proves why we must acknowledge her contributions throughout her career to the world of fashion.

R&B artist, Mary J. Blige sings during Super Bowl LVI.

Mary J. Blige, or Aunty Mary as many call her, made her presence known at the 2022 Super Bowl halftime show. She graced the stage about four and a half minutes into the set, after rapper 50 Cent finished performing his 2003 hit song “In Da Club”. When the camera panned onto her iconic knee-high boots to acknowledge it was her turn to perform, I knew her performance was about to be representative of who she is and reminiscent of the contributions she’s made to the Black community. Mary is known for dancing in her infamous knee-high boots, but these were different than her signature Gucci, MCM or monochrome boots she typically wears to match her outfits. Mary pulled out all the stops with a pair that had silver, glitter and leopard print detailing on them.

R&B Artist, Mary J. Blige, is joined by dancers on stage for Super Bowl LVI.

Mary’s Super Bowl costume was a reflective, bedazzled bodysuit that had cut-outs on top and a belt to cinch her waist. She styled it with matching fingerless gloves, silver hoop earrings and an oversized fedora. As the only woman in the line-up, of course, she had to entrust only the best to style her for the big occasion. The hip-hop/soul artist was dressed in a custom piece from Norwegian celebrity fashion designer Peter Dundas, of Dundas World.

“So proud and elated just witnessing Mary perform in my custom Dundas at the Super Bowl Halftime Show,” Dundas says on his Instagram post. “Creating looks seen by 100 million spectators is never simple and I am so grateful to my team and our collaborators on this.”

Dundas is known for his unique fashions. He designed Beyoncé's gold regal ensemble for her 2017 Grammy’s performance and Ciara’s 2021 Met Gala look, inspired by her husband Russell Wilson.

As Mary performed “Family Affair” and “No More Drama,” I understood why Dundas was tasked to create her outstanding performance look for this year’s Super Bowl. He knew how to create an outfit that would enamor the audience, but also one that Mary would be comfortable dancing in. From the buss down middle-parted ash-blonde loose waves, to the neutral smokey eyeshadow, Dundas and Mary’s style team created a look that would make her feel beautiful and empowered.

“I approached the outfit thinking about dressing such an icon that Mary is,” Dundas said in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily (WWD)  or commonly referred to as the “Bible of Fashion.”

“I thought about what I associate with her and I knew that especially for stage wear, I want the person to feel like the outfit is part of them and their identity.”

Mary has showcased her identity in her fashion consistently over the course of her long career.  She hit the scene in the early ‘90s and was always a trendsetter. In the music video for “Real Love,” a song from her debut album “What’s the 411?” she wore oversized baseball jerseys, biker shorts and baseball caps while still embracing her femininity with a full face of glam, gold hoop earrings and pressed hair. She was on trend for the relaxed ‘90s vibe but added her own sassy flair to the mix.

Mary J. Blige poses in a pink outfit.

In the 2000′s, Mary switched it up and elevated her look. In her 2005 video, “Be Without You”, she paid homage to the classic Audrey Hepburn chignon pouf hairstyle. Rather than pairing the hairstyle with a black dress as Audrey did in 1961′s “Breakfast At Tiffany’s,” she opted for a more casual look by adding a headband and wearing polished loungewear.

Mary J. Blige at the New York premiere for "Power of Book II: Ghost."

During the late 2010′s, Mary continued in her evolution of fashion. At the 2018 SAG Awards, she was styled by Zendaya’s stylist, Luxury Law. He put her in a Jean-Louis Sabaj fitted black gown with white flower details on the side. This look was giving grown woman vibes, and it solidified her refined era of fashion.

Mary J. Blige at the 2018 Sag Awards.

Mary has many other noteworthy and signature fashion moments including her big furs, hats, high fashion name brands and figure-flattering ensembles. One thing’s for sure, every time she steps out, Mary J. Blige exudes classy, big-boss, rich-aunty energy.