Rihanna’s S/S 18 Fenty x Puma collection embodied everything we know the beloved pop star to be: risky and daring.
The show followed a relatively subdued weekend at NYFW, drawing revered fashion editors, stylists and celebrities front row to watch the electrifying rock show. Rih strung together strong silhouettes with recurring design elements — like the toggles and straps that one might see in a sports car. The collection was stacked with opposites: tight bike shorts with tiny sports bra tops contrasting racer jackets with puffed sleeve cuffs.
Models strutted in loose pants that hung around their waists and gathered in pools at the ankles, clad in high heels. Sweatshirts followed the details on the long sleeve and long legged body suits that slicked over the models, with closures of contrasting coloured zips that drew up to the chest from the belly.
A theme of surrealism travelled through the show. The neon palette edginess was softened by the powdered pink sand dunes making up the obstacle course runway. Early nineties brights were showcased in a modern colour palette. The show was pulled together by the space-travel-silver duffle bags, and a revamped sunglasses shape.
The classic Oakley aviator made a standout appearance, with select models pairing them with slick-back ponies and shiny, Fenty Beautified cheeks. The lenses variated between transparent and shades, including iridescent blue and solid black. The athletic designs were an exciting deviation from the typical polished look expected from high fashion over seasons gone by. Even the contrast of sine and sand dunes lent a beach atmosphere, conjuring images of ocean waves with towels draped like loose hoods over the models’ heads.
And then came the finale: models circled the pink dunes, and Rihanna came out on a dirt bike to finish the show.
What is the significance of the bright palette, ornate runway set, space-y/sporty accessories and Rihanna’s motorbike grand finale? She seems to have undone the strict world of fashion runways. Usually fashion plays to reflect the fantasy of pop culture. In times of turmoil, fashion becomes imaginative. Fenty (Rih’s last name) has brought the air of expensive play into fashion. With this collection, we can see there is fun in vivid colour, in living out the fantasy of a neon space racer — a world where pairing the unfashionable with the trendy becomes cool, because we have to hurry up and have fun. See the full show here.
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