How the heck did they get a pantsuit under that dress?

By Samantha Sutton
Updated Nov 14, 2019 @ 4:00 pm
Credit: Courtesy

Years before Reba McEntire was "a single mom who works two jobs, who loves her kids, and never stops," she pulled off a history-making costume change on stage while performing her hit song, Fancy. In 1991, ripping off an oversize black coat to reveal a semi-sheer red dress was iconic. But when it came time to recreate that moment for the 2019 CMAs, the star knew she had to go even bigger.

"This reveal is one of the most complicated we’ve ever done because there are two reveals, not just one," she told InStyle ahead of the show. "How do you get a pantsuit out of a dress in two seconds? That takes some creativity and magic! I hope people are wowed and surprised by it. And selfishly, I want them to say 'Dang, Reba’s still got it!'"

Well, we definitely had that reaction after seeing McEntire in action,pulling away clothes to reveal one outfit after another. How did she manage to go from a feathered robe, to a sparkly red dress, to a pantsuit, all in a matter of minutes? We were perplexed — and in awe of the talented costume designer, Matt Logan.

"I bought the fabrics in New York City and landed back in Nashville three weeks to the day of the show," Logan revealed when we asked about all the work that went into these Fancy costumes. "However, this series of dresses required us to rehearse the changes as well. That brought it to a two-and-a-half week process. It is a very tight timeline for something that not only has hundreds of details but it had to 'work' — meaning it had to do tricks. I mainly live in a costume world and we are used to pulling off the impossible, but this was a tall order!"

Credit: Matt Logan

Altogether, Logan told us that it took 1,000 yards of red thread (!!!) and six different fittings, where both McEntire and her creative director, Justin McIntosh, weighed in on each look.

"I think my favorite part of this process was the collaboration and the commitment everyone had to achieving the best idea possible," he admitted.

So what, exactly, was McEntire hoping people would take away from this performance? How has country style evolved in general? And — also an important question — will we ever get a Reba TV show reboot? The singer shared her thoughts with InStyle, ahead.

Credit: Courtesy

What is the getting-ready process for an award show typically like? Is it chaotic?

For an outfit like this, it’s all hands on deck. The whole team is there making sure everything is clipped, snapped, buttoned, and ready to go. Nothing is chaotic because we’ve rehearsed it a hundred times and know exactly who’s doing what, when, and how.

Credit: Justin McIntosh/RBI

What are some details you love about these looks?

Well, more than the details, I really love how the three looks all work together and tell a story. There’s a lot of magic going in each garment to make the reveal surprising, fun, and hopefully leaving people going, "Wow, how’d she do that?!?!"

| Credit: Justin McIntosh/RBI

How did the original Fancy dress reveal change your life?

When I originally released Fancy as a single in 1991, it wasn’t a huge hit. It only went to #8 on the charts. It wasn’t until I started doing the big costume changes on tour that the song really became my signature. Now it’s something my fans expect and wait for. We never end a show without Fancy and some kind of red dress! I’ve had sequins, rhinestones, leather — we’ve done it about every way you can imagine.

Credit: Justin McIntosh/RBI

“Country music style” has changed over the years, but what's one thing you think will always be included in these award-show looks?

As far as country music itself, it will always be about stories. The production and the instrumentation may change, but there will always be a story in there somewhere. As for country music style, I think there will always be a little bit of sparkle in there. Rhinestones and country music just go together!

Credit: Donn Jones/CMA

What is your everyday style like and how has it changed over the years?

My everyday style is very comfortable and classic. I live in jeans, boots, and sweaters! Minus my hair length changing, I think my style has been pretty consistent. If you go back and look at pictures from the '80s, I was still wearing jeans and boots. It’s just who I am! I always say my style is tough-sexy.

Credit: Donn Jones/CMA

Is there a country music star whose closet you’d love to raid? If so, who, and what would you take?

One of my CMA co-hosts, Dolly Parton! Who wouldn’t love to spend a day in Dolly’s closet? She’s Dolly Parton. There are more sequins and rhinestones in there than you can shake a stick at. If I could just take one rhinestone, I’d be happy!

Credit: Donn Jones/CMA

With all the reboots out there, would you ever do a Reba reboot or reunion?

We’d love to and have talked about it, but the stars just haven’t aligned. You never know what will happen!