R&B sensation Rihanna fronts the latest issue of CR Fashion Book, Carine Roitfeld’s biannual publication, wearing a Marie Antoinette-inspired outfit; comprised of a corset and garter from London’s most promising, star Dilara Findkoglu. The last Queen of France prior to the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette has been permeating Rihanna’s world of late. In 2014, to the sound of Goodnight Gotham (a song from her new album Anti), Rihanna filmed a Dior advertisement in Versailles. For her second Fenty x Puma collection, the singer-cum-designer continued to emanate the spirit of the Revolutionary figure.
In CR Fashion Book, she played a sexed up version of the last Queen of France. For her Puma collection, Rihanna imagined what Marie Antoinette would wear to the gym, or play tennis in. Leave it to Rihanna to conjure up such an amusing concept for a fashion show.
Selecting the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild (where Valentino host their couture collections in January and July) to present the collection, Rihanna wanted to evoke Monsieur Christian Dior’s salon shows in the forties and fifties. She liked the idea of a confined space. Her abidance to tradition is one of the many reasons why her foray into fashion design doesn’t irritate the fashion press—she doesn’t waste precious time, she’s to the point (naturally), and has something to say.
Imaan Hammam opened the show in a bubblegum pink, sheer parka decorated with mini frills. Her look was punctuated by lace-up heels (trainers), a baseball cap and a ‘Puma’ emblazoned fan. Stella Maxwell took the runway in a pink polo shirt with a corset and skimpy, scalloped lace shorts. She completed the look with an excess of pearls. Fernanda Ly’s wood green jumpsuit patterned with flowers and birds might be an 18th century appropriation of modern-day, post-gym outfitting.
What elevates these clothes is that you know they’re tried and tested. They were physical extension of Rihanna’s expansive fashion lexicon. Whether she’s strolling down the sidewalk in lime green Molly Goddard, or decked out in a feather-embroidered Armani jumpsuit on her world tour, there’ll always be reflections of her personal style in her turn as fashion designer. In the coming days, weeks, months, I expect to see her donning the lace-up bustier, the flowing, floor-length coat, the slinky, chocolate-brown slip dress and the lingerie-inspired mini-dress with thigh-high stockings. Each one of those looks are representative of her lavish lifestyle, her unyieldingly brave response to dressing—she has that much in common with Marie Antoinette.
Rihanna is the Global Ambassador of Puma. She continues to generate massive revenues for the sportswear brand. The creeper shoes she’s collaborated with them on are on my wish-list. Her Fenty x Puma collections are surprisingly superb. This match made in heaven is sure to last longer than ten years.
Photo Credit: voguerunway.com