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Rihanna’s Disappointing River Island Fashion Show


I’ve been a fan of Rihanna since her 2005  break out hit Pon the Replay hit the air waves and swept music charts around the world .  With the Chris Brown fiasco, “bad gal” persona and illuminati rumors (how did that start anyways) this isn’t exactly something that I like to admit. But I’ve been quietly supporting my fellow island girl (She’s from Barbados and I am from Jamaica) by buying her music and following and supporting her projects.

There’s no doubt about it, Rihanna’s swag tun up!. The girl can dress (well, ok she has some really great stylists who has molded her into a fashion icon) so when I heard that she was doing a collab with River Island I was ecstatic.

Last Saturday I penciled in time to watch the live feed from London Fashion Week and I waited as the words “we will be starting momentarily” and “we are fashionably late” splashed across my screen again and again. I bounced between the RI Facebook page hosting the feed and twitter trying to get a sense of what was going on.  On twitter I learned about and saw insta pictures of the long lines and throngs of people who came out for the presentation.  In between the splashes of “we’ll be starting soon” messages, internet viewers were treated to clips of the swarm of pretty people who were sipping champagne and waiting inside the venue.

At 5:00 o’clock I left my house for an appointment and hoped that a recording would be available later that evening. When I got home, sure enough a recorded presentation was available and so I watched.

The Venue and Stage


The Music

Atrocious! Vulgar! Oppressive! Awful! Distracting! Sexist! Swear words, racial slurs so much of it that I actually threw up in my mouth a bit.  I am beyond sick of  artists, producers and labels who continue to force the words “nigga” and “bitches” on the world and even more pissed about the lame arguments that are being used to justify its use. It’s damaging! I live in a trying to be gentrified neighborhood. I see the effects of it and it is not good. (i.e.people trying to live up to those negative labels that they have branded themselves.)

The Models

I thought they were supposed to make the clothes look good. They looked angry, disinterested, vacant, scared hungry (actually more like starved EMACIATED) and look like they didn’t feel comfortable in the clothes.

The Clothes

It wasn’t all bad, but the collection doesn’t reflect Rihanna’s style (or the style created for her by her stylists) though. And this obviously wasn’t for Fall 2013.  There was too much sheer pieces and shorts. Even the swimsuit from Baywatch made an appearance.  Psssst, that was a little hint about the originality of the collection. Also, the collection was obviously “young” so I don’t understand why there was such a need to “sex” it up so much.

Don’t just take my word for it though. Here are some other reviews from around the web.

RiRi was an hour late for her nine-minute fashion show. We know timeliness isn’t de rigueur during fashion week, but making attendees wait a whole hour? Even we can’t pretend to check emails on our iPhones for that long. Nipple-baring, crotch-flashing mesh outfits and bra tops aren’t exactly what a stylish gal wants to throw on for a casual night out.The entire collection was a wardrobe malfunction waiting to happen. Rebecca Adams Huffington Post

“There were few who anticipated a fashion triumph, but, even allowing for the limited expectations, Rihanna’s collection for River Island as brought forth in London tonight was a horror show. The clothes were hideous and without an ounce of panache or style between them. True, there were some consolations. For example, if you really, really like belly buttons, if you are totally nuts for navels, then this could be the collection for you. If you only feel capable of wearing clothes on the lower half of your body if they are slashed up to your waist, then again, you are in luck. Similarly, if you were a guy hoping for a one night stand and a girl started chatting to you in a bar wearing anything from the Rihanna for River Island collection, you could feel fair confident you’d be getting lucky. The only lingering uncertainty in your mind would be whether or not she would take a credit card.” Tom Sykes The Daily Beast

Despite this though, it will sell. Rihanna, who recently inked a deal with MAC, has a huge and loyal fan base that will support her regardless. As much as I love RiRi, I have to sit this out though. I just still can’t get pass the trauma of the music from the show.

The Rihanna for River Island collection hits stores on March 5th. 

 XoXo, Natasha


About Natasha Samuels

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