Givenchy Dresses Rihanna, ‘Face of Her Generation,’ for Diamonds World Tour



The HBIC-slash-designer took the stage at the First Niagara Center in Buffalo, New York, on Friday night wearing not a skirt with sleevesfrom her River Island line , but custom Givenchy couture — specifically, “a floor-sweeping ruffled silk crepe cape in black with a embroidered collar and a pair of black-and-white leather thigh-high boots with lacing details,” WWD writes. Creative director Riccardo Tisci also made the layers underneath her cloak, “a pair of couture goggles,” and a shark tooth necklace. He said the entire ensemble represented “female empowerment and urban haute couture elegance,” and called Rihanna “punk and talented … she is the face of her generation.”

Kanye West must be licking his wounds. Last week, he bemoaned his inability to pass off Tisci’s skirts as concertwear, telling Hot97:

What happens with these type of judges and people who are viewers, when you come in, I had the pink polo and the backpack, then I’m checking all the boxes for that Tribe Called Quest–era and J Dilla and all that, so they champion it. They don’t like Givenchy-Kanye. They don’t like Kanye in a kilt. They don’t like Kanye in a relationship.

Well, they don’t like Rihanna in a relationship, but they probably do like Rihanna in a kilt, and they certainly do like Givenchy-Rihanna.


Now lets discuss Rihanna’s apparel debut,

Rihanna’s collection for River Island debuted at London Fashion Week a mere two weeks ago. At the time, the clothes were described by The Daily Beast’s own Tom Sykes as “unsurprisingly slutty and yet tiresomely predictable.” But they remained unseen by a majority of the population until officially launching in-stores on Tuesday. Retailing exclusively at Opening Ceremony in the United States and Japan, the collection was privately feted in the store’s SoHo location on Monday night, also marking the debut of a “RIHtrospective”—a small exhibit of some of the singer’s most famous outfits to-date.


There, you’ll find downtown Manhattan’s cardinal emporium of hip filled with mannequins exhibiting seven of the pop star’s most famous looks. It’s a display of disjointed snippets from the Barbadian’s evolutionary comet that’s run the gamut from Caribbean sweetheart, to BDSM, to Tumblr princess, and then back again–as witnessed at last month’s Grammy awards when Ri sweetened up in an elegant Alaïa gown. The exhibit’s seven looks are numerically symbolic–representing a seven year career that’s beheld seven studio albums and a 777 tour which travelled seven countries in seven days aboard a Boeing 777.

It all feels a bit premature. David Bowie will soon be celebrated with a fashion retrospective too (this one at an actual museum—the Victoria & Albert in London), but his 46-year career has served as a cultural barometer of wackiness, it holds substance; it’s original. By contrast, Opening Ceremony’s exhibit celebrates a figure that’s still striving to find her long-term footprint.

But more importantly, the RIHtrospective is an alarming reflection of today’s celebrity culture.  Like most celebrity ventures, Rihanna for River Island is a celebration of an artist’s achievements and personal taste—without them why would someone buy in? This exhibit illustrates how releasing a perfume or clothing line with a 15-minute photo op on the fragrance floor at Macy’s will no longer suffice. Now fans are subjected to a miniature museum of a star’s likeliness while scooping up the mass-produced fare. Even Rihanna’s mannequins were fashioned to include her signature closely-cropped haircut—which she’s already traded for long, flowing, honeyed extensions in real life.

Beside the mannequins were racks of Rihanna’s vison of street clothes, which despite their ‘porny’ reviews, made perfect sense given the store they’re stocked in: they’re for underground vixens with relatively deep pockets, especially when you consider the income of youths inclined to wear denim dungaree tops. Take away LFW’s ultraviolet lights, aggressive soundtrack, and go-go platforms, and the pieces, which aren’t remarkably new (a $50 crop top could easily be swooped up on the cheap at American Apparel, constructed of higher-quality cotton fabric at that), suddenly aren’t as offensive as one might envision.

For what it’s worth, the collection’s co-designer Adam Selman explained to The Daily Beast that Rihanna for River Island “wasn’t ever meant to be a runway show.” The designs, which retail between $45 and $350, are simply a commercial extension of Rihanna’s brand as an artist–one which relies on constantly-changing fashion a way to communicate with the masses. Her stylist, Mel Ottenberg, explained that the signer’s signature style “is not afraid to take risks, it really breaths, it moves, it’s not too constricted or too contained or too caught up in the past; it’s just sort of unafraid and moving forward.”


But already, the peddaling of Rihanna Inc. seems to be working: Opening CeremonyInstagrammed a picture of the line outside their store on Tuesday morning, and a salesperson told us that they had already sold out of multiple pieces.

I respect the branding machine behind Rihanna’s brand, but people, PLEASE stop calling this fashion. It IS NOT fashion, its simply an artist brand converted into diversified WEARABLE product to better establish her brand with the core demo that enjoys her music.



Carine Roitfeld Celebrates CR Fashion Book’s Second Issue



In the midst of Paris Fashion Week, Carine Roitfeld threw a cocktail fête at Hotel Shangri-La to celebrate CR Fashion Book’s second, ballet-themed issue. When the New York party went down, we hadn’t yet learned that the magazine would be stuffed with models that had hair dancing in the wind and even a monkey suited up in Armani, but it seems the party attendees in Paris took note.Jessica Chastain, Jessica Alba, Karlie Kloss, and Amanda Seyfried were all in town for the party, and we tagged along with photographers to catch a pantsless Kate Moss, Karl Lagerfeld wearing sunglasses, and, of course, Kanye West.

“Dance” is the theme for Carine Roitfeld’s second CR Fashion Book, and at the party to celebrate its launch, hip-hop artist Ciara does Carine proud. She arrives at Casa Lever with her friend Riccardo Tisci — “Pappa Ricky,” as she calls Givenchy’s creative director — and the two barely pause for a storm of flashbulbs before they beeline to the dance floor. Ciara sheds her shaggy fur to reveal a white, oversize Givenchy tee with a baroque printed panel in the front. It’s one part street, one part Parisian, and the sum is far greater when Ciara starts shimmying and the shirt barely covers her leather-panted butt. Beyoncé’s documentary has just premiered a few blocks away, and one might be forgiven for mistaking Ciara for a more tousled, touchable Queen Bey.

Riccardo met his muse several years ago in Brazil, when she was his guest performer for a charity event, and the two became fast friends. “But also,” says Ciara, “I am very blessed that I get to dig in his closet and pull out things I like, and he sends me amazing things for events like the Grammys.” For instance, the black Givenchy tee she pulls on in her recent Mad Max–ish “Got Me Good” video takes her outfit to another level. (Proceed with caution: The chorus will stay stuck in your head, as CR staffers proved by singing it back to Ciara.)

Before Ciara’s arrival, the party is spread into several pockets. At the crowded bar, Joseph Altuzarra talks to IMG’s Ivan Bart about Sunday night’s Girls. The Courtin-Clarins crew gathers near the door, discussing whether they’ll be dining at Bobo or Babbo. Sophie Theallet and Constance Jablonski make their way inside, and couples cuddle in the banquettes along the wall. Then, Ciara kisses Carine Roitfeld hello and a crowd including Stephen Gan, Jessica Hart, Giancarlo Giametti, Irina Shayk, and Vladimir Restoin Roitfeld moves toward the dance floor.


The Rolling Stones give way to live congas, and a sultry rendition of the Cuban song “Chan Chan.” Armani’s Fabio Mancone twirls Carine. The dancer Lil Buck, who silenced the crowd with a ballet-meets-breakdance (see: jookin) just hours earlier at Vladimir’s party, takes a turn with Ciara. Beginning in his wrist, a wave ripples through his body, and his feet flicker and float across the floor. For a moment, Lil Buck and Ciara mirror one another. Dirk Standen, of Style.com, looks impressed.


Marina Abramovic, another good friend of Riccardo’s, appears, and the long braid down her back shakes as she dances and laughs. Carlos Souza shows Ciara how to move her fingers flamenco-style, and soon she is dancing like a Sevillana. Three hired young men in tuxedos, who have been carrying around thick copies of CR Fashion Book for the crowd, stand watching the dance floor, and now one of them them can’t help drumming his hand on the cover along with “Guatanamera.” Ciara snags a cocktail napkin from Derek Blasberg — who has appeared with Lily Donaldson and a plum-lipped Karlie Kloss — and blots her face. Riccardo peels off his jacket and sweatshirt. Carine and Ciara pose with their lips kissing either of his cheeks. Derek delays with the photo, and Carine opens a heavily lined lid and peers over. Flash.


After the band finishes, the stereo plays more Stones, Nirvana, and Fleetwood Mac. Soon, Ciara’s fur is back on, and she and Riccardo walk out arm-in-arm, through a corridor of tuxedoed attendants. Their car took Marina Abramovic home, and should be back for them any minute. The plan is to get a midnight snack and head to the Top of the Standard. They have just one night to eat, laugh, dance, and take pictures until next time, when Ciara travels to Paris for Givenchy’s fall 2013 show in March. For now, they huddle on the sidewalk, flipping through the new CR together, waiting for their driver.

“It was good music, ah?” says Riccardo.

“It makes me want to go take salsa classes,” Ciara replies. “I know a few steps.”

Check out the below black and whites, lets see if you can spot the fashion insiders in attendance.

Image                    Photo: Elizabeth Lippman