One of the most talked about shows at Paris Fashion Week was Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma collection. This was her second collection and she decided to showcase it in Paris for a reason. The show took place at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, an opulent 19th century mansion with authentic French ‘Art de Vivre’ architecture. The source of her inspiration was the Palace of Versailles, where Rihanna shot her campaign for Dior back in 2015, where she “left feeling completely enchanted by the place and the extravagant lifestyle of France’s last queen prior to the Revolution,” according to Vogue. This show was highly anticipated as her being Rihanna, one of the most fashionable artists in the industry today and someone who isn’t afraid to take risks. As a huge fan of hers myself, I was so excited to see what she came up with this time around and the show did not disappoint.
The collection showed a lineup of clothes that were influenced by 18th century French style mixed with athletic outerwear, staying true to the Puma sport brand. “It was a challenge to mix those two and make them make sense,” said Rihanna. Fortunately, she definitely made it happen. Rihanna showed the world how you can incorporate the modern athletic wear that is popular today with a touch of Parisian looks. It seemed similar to her own style, which is constantly at both ends of the fashion spectrum. She can rock a tracksuit one day, then show up with a skin-tight slip dress the next.
This show was all about the softer tones, corsets, pearls and lace materials. The menswear pieces captured the same amount of softness with current gender fluid street wear. The models wore pearl necklaces, crystal lip and/or septum piercings, lace baseball caps, corsets, lace-crocheted sweatpants, lace pointed booties, etc. Rihanna specifically pointed out that she wanted her clothes to embody what Marie Antoinette would wear to the gym.
Another significant aspect of her collection was that she simply destroyed gender norms in her outfits. The male models were seen wearing pale pink satin, rocking pearl chokers and/or statement necklaces and my favorite — crop tops.
My favorite aspect about her collection was how she mixed a “girly” style with a sportier look. She showed the audience how you can show your feminine side and still rock a tracksuit. She created a gender-fluid and beautiful interpretation of gender norms in fashion, which is becoming more popular today. Androgynous beauty is becoming more visible as seen in a few celebs, such as Jaden Smith, but our culture doesn’t seem to embrace this type of fashion for men just yet. Rihanna is always going against the norm and that’s why we all love her. The show was unmistakably Rihanna and nothing like we’ve ever seen on the athletic fashion stage. This just gives us another reason to love her.