Rihanna for River Island

Jack Baxter
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If Rihanna’s fashion debut is anything like her entrance to the music industry back in 2005, then her collection for River Island is going to be a certain hit. London Fashion Week saw the Barbadian chart-topper release her first of four collections this year onto the Catwalk. After nine months of working alongside the River Island design team, Rihanna has brought us an incredibly stylish, easy-to-wear collection, which allows women from all over to have a piece of Rihanna’s fun and flirty style.

Creating clothes that she would wear herself, Rihanna has been devoted to the whole process, from initial sketches to seeing her designs form in reality. Having wanted to design her own fashion line for a long time, seeing the collection launched at London Fashion Week, Rihanna has described it as, “a dream come true”.

“Easy, laid-back, chic and flirty” are the words used by Rihanna to describe the theme of the collection in the short ‘making of’ film shown as anticipation built before the show. This is a theme Rihanna and the River Island design team have certainly mastered. The ‘Thigh Split Maxi Skirt’ is fantastically flirtatious, made from relaxed fabric with a stunning drape to it, that when in motion reveals the leg, adding a seductive tone. With this said, each piece has been carefully designed so that there’s rarely ‘too’ much skin on show, making this collection perfect for her fan base.

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Glamour is a look Rihanna has no trouble pulling off. So when the line launched it came as no surprise that glamour was strongly featured. A favourite of mine is the stunning ‘Knot Back Knitted Tee’. With a slash that cuts from the top corner to the base of the back, which instantly adds glamour to any outfit. It has a very simple turtle neck design, with short sleeves, which from the front gives this classic an elegant, sophisticated look. This subtle way of adding allure works well in the ‘Slash Back Dress’; this is a sleeveless, shift dress that would make a great staple to any wardrobe. It’s shown in both yellow and black, so Rihanna has created her very own ‘Little Black Dress’.

Black and white are the base of the collection. Designs are monochromatic or in neutral stone tones, with occasional flashes of neon yellow, as accents. The entire collection is very versatile. There is the freedom to mix-and-match the pieces to establish your own style. With essentials in the collection, like the perfect pair of blue jeans, Rihanna makes dressing fun and straightforward, giving you confidence in what you are doing and how you look.

My favourite piece from the collection has to be the black ‘Overall Dress’. This amazing floor length dress has a dungaree style top that gives it a tom-boy look, whilst the voluminous skirt brings a softer element. The vast amount of fabric used in the skirt, gives this dress a high-end designer feel. Pair this dress with leather to push that ‘feminine-grunge’ look, or style it very simply with gold jewellery and have it as a stand-alone piece.

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Styling the campaign herself with pieces of jewellery from her own collection, it’s undeniable that Rihanna has got a natural sense of style. It’s this style that she wanted to share with her admirers, by designing this collection. Rihanna has gone as far as to design items that are already styled. Two skirts have got fabulous shirt detailing stitched on. It’s this attention to detail that makes this debut fashion line so great. This is such an easy skirt to wear with a simple tee or sweatshirt for a relaxed, chilled look that is effortless.

With a small, but fantastic range of footwear to go with the collection, Rihanna has really thought of everything. From a great pair of boots, with a chunky heel for a day look, to a statement ‘Over-the-Knee’ pair for a night out. With so many pieces selling-out in stores and online, I think we can expect big things from Rihanna’s fashion career and I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us next season.

About Jack Baxter

Jack Baxter is a Fashion Stylist and MUA based in the East Anglia & London. Having worked in the industry for the past 5 years, in many different roles, Jack has developed a great sense of style. Follow @JackRBaxter.