Rihanna Takes A Bow
September 30, 2019/ Bryanna Lopez
Rihanna knows how to put on a show - in more ways than one.
We’ve heard Rihanna through her music, we’ve seen Rihanna make statements with her makeup line and now we get to watch Rihanna promote an extremely important movement through her fashion designs.
Rihanna created her own lingerie brand in 2017 with the idea of creating designs that empowered people of all shapes and sizes to be confident and feel sexy in their bodies. Rihanna has made numerous statements explaining her goals for the brand. This New York Fashion Week, Rihanna had the deal of reinventing the traditional ideals of a runway show. The show was recorded as a full-scale production as an Amazon Original and can be watched on Amazon Prime Video. Rihanna is an artist that constantly goes against the norms of the industry and one of the most important concepts she wants her brand to represent is inclusivity. Including musical performances from multiple artists, dance routines, large scale stages and models of all shapes, colors, genders and sizes, the show went against the grain of what everyone else in the industry is doing.
The show starts off with Rihanna centered in the middle of her models, all on large platform boxes, who are all dressed up in a black sheer lingerie jumpsuit and sneakers. The first to walkout was a plus-size model starting the show off with huge representation. The portrayal of different body types is one thing that is rarely included in the fashion industry. The standard norm of models in the industry tends to be tall, stick wide women. We are so used the stereotypical models, joking about how they never eat and are so unhappy, yet we have always aspired to look like them because of this standard idea of beauty we are fed through them. This idea of inclusivity in fashion is a movement that is beginning to catch up to designers. Today’s society is exceptionally keen on normalizing diversity, we want to know that the way we look is acceptable and beautiful. Designers that embrace inclusivity in their brands and shows are the ones ahead in the game. Rihanna is one of the many artists that push the boundaries on fighting the norms of the industry, the focus of her brand is to help everyone feel empowered by being themselves. The Savage X Fenty show was exactly what everyone not only wanted but needed to see.
Rihanna described the show as a Fashion Musical and it really was just that. The dance numbers were the gateway to showing off the garments and they were just as intriguing as the sharp cut, lacey lingerie designs themselves. This addition of using dance as art to showcase her designs is something only Rihanna would think of. The savage feeling of creating with no boundaries, carried from the atmosphere of the stage was only amplified with the sharp movements that were constant throughout the show. The storytelling of the dances did a tremendous job in bringing the vibes of confidence and feeling oneself into the limelight. The holographic strobed lighting brought an eerie shadow effect that left you wondering what was going to happen next. The all-white set was filled with multiple staircases, 20 large arched openings that displayed the models during the performance, and a medium round pool that sat in the middle of the stage floor. The plain white set allowed for the focus to remain solely on the performances and garments themselves.
Artists such as Big Sean, A$AP Ferg, Migos, Fat Joe, Fabolous, DJ Khaled, Tierra Whack and Halsey took the stage performing some of their hits as a sort of intermission between stage changes. The constant attention was driven to the huge difference in people included in the show. Diversity did not stop with the models, Rihanna honed in on keeping her brand in its aesthetic. Each artist brought more excitement as the show went on, keeping fans wondering who was going to come out next.
The models ranged from tall, short, wide, thin, curvy, straight, tattooed, having prosthetic legs and all in between. Representation in any form whether it be in fashion, sports, social media, politics, is so important in today’s world. For hundreds of years, we have been fed a one size fits all mentality when it comes to the fashion industry. The reality of it is that one size does not fit all. As a small child, I was always worried about the way I looked, I never felt comfortable in my own skin. If I had seen the models of all shapes in sizes as there were in the show, I believe my outlook on beauty would have been very different. For the young audience that follows Rihanna’s career, they are getting such a broad idea of what it means to be beautiful and I think that is very important in today’s society where everything is in your face and photoshopped. In the Amazon Movie, even some of the models were so excited to have the opportunity to walk in a lingerie show saying they never thought they would be able to do that due to their appearance. Again brands that embrace this idea of inclusivity are the ones who will stick around due to the high demand society is moving towards. Rihanna’s core values of helping women find comfort in loving their body, finding styles that make them feel sexy and not putting a box on what is an ideal standard for women is the reason everyone is infatuated and so supportive of her. •
by: Bryanna Lopez
photagraphy: Dimitrios Kambouris - Getty Images