What Adele wears to an Adele concert

Adele performs in Burberry in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Feb. 29, left, a a sketch of dress designed by Burberry's chief creative and chief executive officer, Christopher Bailey.
(Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images; Burberry)

Fans lucky enough to snap up tickets to Adele’s sold-out, six-night Los Angeles stand at Staples Center – which kicks off tonight – might well be wondering what to wear for the occasion. Something that won’t get ruined by emotional weeping? Probably. Comfortable shoes? Definitely. A lightweight top thin enough to wear under that newly purchased concert T-shirt? If you’re that kind of concertgoer, then absolutely.

But the 10-time Grammy winner , currently touring in support of her latest album “25,” has no such wardrobe quandary. She will apparently wear one — and only one — dress on stage for her eight nights here (after two dates in Arizona she returns to L.A. for two additional sold-out nights at Staples on Aug. 20 and 21) just as she has since the tour began in Belfast, Northern Ireland, on Feb. 29. Or, more accurately, Adele will be wearing one of a number of identical dresses — a sparkly black silk gown covered with floral-patterned, hand-embroidered sequins.

The dress is by British luxury brand Burberry, which issued a press release back in February noting that the mononymous singer (who also hails from Britain) would wear the label exclusively during the tour. The announcement credited the design to Burberry’s chief executive and chief creative officer, Christopher Bailey, and included the following quote attributed to him: “It is a huge privilege to work with Adele. She is an incredible artist who I admire enormously for her approach to life, her sense of fun, her innate style and her massively powerful and moving voice and performance.”

Photos from each stop on the tour show the singer wearing a floor-length gown that nips in at the waist, has a crew neck, three-quarter-length sleeves and a multicolored floral sequin pattern that dazzles and sparkles like mad under the lights. Finishing off the ensemble is a pair of (presumably Burberry) flats.


Adele's custom Burberry gown includes sequin-free underarm panels, as seen at her Verona, Italy, tour stop on May 28.
Adele’s custom Burberry gown includes sequin-free underarm panels, as seen at her Verona, Italy, tour stop on May 28.
(Francesco Prandoni / Getty Images )

What isn’t immediately apparent from the photos are the kind of “behind-the-seams” details that differentiate a tour wardrobe from something one might buy off the rack. According to Billboard magazine, which spoke with Adele’s longtime stylist Gaelle Paul, the custom creation — of which there are 10 total being rotated through the tour — tales its initial inspiration from a minidress design from Burberry’s pre-fall 2016 collection and includes tweaks like adding an adjustable grosgrain ribbon at the waist and making the side panels under each arm sequin-free to cut down on the potential for sequin-on-sequin contact – which could be picked up by the microphone during her performance. (We are so not making this up. For photographic proof, see above.)

Unless you’re besties with Burberry’s Bailey, you probably won’t be able to nail Adele’s exact on-stage look in time for her Los Angeles engagement. But all is not lost, since a range of pieces from the collection that inspired it can be found on the racks of Burberry’s 301 N. Rodeo Drive boutique. Including a drop-waisted, short-sleeved, hand-embroidered sequin dress ($8,250) similar enough that you can almost hear it whisper: “Hello, it’s me.”

For more musings on all things fashion and style, follow me @ARTschorn.


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