Three Degrees Of Style / Rihanna’s Diamond World Tour 2013 Looks

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As a fashion Icon, Rihanna has always fascinated me, more so than any other celeb.  I decided to get to my design desk and design a few looks that I feel she would love for her “Diamond World Tour, later this year. Wether going to black tie events to promote the tour, or actually on the stage, I wanted to design assorted looks that spanned the spectrum of potential fashion looks for this hugely fabulous poster.  February 2011, a few weeks shy of her 23rd birthday, Rihanna released a single called S&M. The video opens with a sequence showing the singer wearing a dress emblazoned with the words “whore” and “slut” while trapped against a wall by layers of clingfilm. Later, shots of her wearing white latex stockings and suspenders, and brandishing a riding crop are cut with footage where she is prone on the floor, wiggling energetically against the pink rope which binds her hands and feet.
There was quite a furore – this being back in the days before Fifty Shades of Grey had sold 20 million copies. Eleven countries banned the video. Meanwhile, fans jammed arena switchboards worldwide securing tickets to her tour. The following month, she became the youngest black woman to appear on the cover of American Vogue; by the autumn she added British Vogue to her covers, this time dressed as Marilyn Monroe. When Time placed her in its 100 Most Influential list this year, Stella McCartney penned an article in praise of her talent and style. On her Facebook page, 116,541 people have “liked” one album of photos labelled “Hawaii vaca”, the aesthetic of which can be summed up as a DIY Sports Illustrated, with more catwalk references. When River Island announced this week that it has signed Rihanna to design a collection that will go on sale on the British high street early next year, the news was acknowledged as a huge coup for the store.
Rihanna’s wardrobe is the most talked-about, influential and dissected in pop right now. Beyoncé is mostly accessorised with a baby sling; Lady Gaga has spun off into high-concept theatrics; Katy Perry these days looks like she has wandered off the set of The Muppets. But what Rihanna wears – whether it is red hair, studded cut-off denims, electric blue sunglasses or a new look in nail art – is immediately reproduced on the high street, because it sells.
The Rihanna of 2012 is unrecognisable from the cookie-cutter R&B pop princess who emerged in 2004. Back then she was standard-issue urban-sexy in low-riding jeans, crop tops, tonged hair, hooped earrings; for evening, much the same but with diamante and tighter jeans. But in 2007, the year of her single Umbrella, everything changed. Her hair was dyed black and chopped into an asymmetric bob. In red carpet photos from the Nickelodeon Kids Choice awards that year, you can see the evolution in progress: she is wearing a pretty, multicoloured silk dress, but with a black leather corset belt over the top, and a fashiony front-row scowl instead of a teenybop smile. By 2008, she was rocking chainmail corsets at black tie events, power-shouldered jumpsuits for day and leather hotpants on stage.
“Everytime we write about Rihanna – her nails, clothes, makeup or hair – our traffic goes through the roof,” says Carrie Tyler, editor of elleuk.com. “She is a figurehead for gutsy, confident fashion choices. Women are fascinated by her because she takes the risks that her fans would like to take themselves. She’s got a beautiful, curvy figure but it’s her confidence that appeals as much as her body.”

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