Mary J. Blige, or Aunty Mary as many call her, made her presence known at halftime at the 2022 Super Bowl. She graced the stage approximately four and a half minutes into the set, after rapper 50 Cent finished performing his 2003 hit song “In Da Club.” When the camera turned to her signature knee-high boots to acknowledge it was her turn to perform, I knew her performance was poised to be representative of who she is and a reminder of the contributions she’s made. she brought to the black community. Mary is known for dancing in her famous knee-high boots, but these were different from her Gucci, MCM or monochrome boots that she usually wears to match her outfits. Mary went all out with a pair adorned with silver, shimmer and leopard print details.
Mary’s Super Bowl costume was a reflective, bedazzled bodysuit that had cutouts at the top and a belt to cinch her waist. She styled it with matching mittens, 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 hair for the big occasion. The hip-hop/soul entertainer wore a custom piece by famed Norwegian fashion designer Peter Dundas, from Dundas World.
“So proud and thrilled to see Mary perform in my custom Dundas at the Super Bowl Halftime Show,” Dundas said on her Instagram post. “Creating looks seen by 100 million viewers is never easy and I’m so grateful to my team and collaborators for that.”
Dundas is known for its unique modes. He designed Beyoncé’s royal gold ensemble for her 2017 Grammys 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 with creating her standout performance look for this year’s Super Bowl. He knew how to create an outfit that would appeal to the audience, but also an outfit that Mary would be comfortable dancing in. look that would make her feel beautiful and empowered.
“I approached the outfit thinking of dressing such an icon as Mary,” Dundas said in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily (WWD) or commonly referred to as the “Fashion Bible.”
“I thought about what I associate with her and I knew that especially for stage outfits, 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 her long career. She hit the scene in the early 90s and has always been a trailblazer. 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 embracing her femininity with a face full of glam, gold hoop earrings and pressed hair. She was all the rage for the laid-back ’90s vibe, but added her own sassy flair into the mix.
In the 2000s, Mary changed it up and upped its look. In her 2005 video, “Be Without You,” she paid homage to Audrey Hepburn’s classic poof bun hairstyle. Rather than teaming the hairstyle with a black dress like Audrey did in 1961’s “Breakfast At Tiffany’s,” she opted for a more laid-back look by adding a headband and wearing fancy loungewear.
During the late 2010s, Mary continued her fashion evolution. At the 2018 SAG Awards, she was styled by Zendaya’s stylist, Luxury Law. He put her in a fitted black Jean-Louis Sabaj dress with white flower details on the side. This look was giving off grown woman vibes and it solidified her refined era of fashion.
Mary has many other notable and iconic fashion moments including her big furs, hats, high fashion brands and flattering ensembles. One thing’s for sure, every time she steps out, Mary J. Blige exudes a classy, big-boss, rich-aunt energy.