Rihanna has never been one to shy away from her fashion instincts, which has led to some personal risqué style decisions. And on the New York Fashion Week runway, her Fenty x Puma collection premiered for fall/winter 2016. The result of her fashion expertise was dark and vampiric, as the models walked out from a thin wall of fog. The core of the collection was gothic edge, and the show was intimate, to say the least, as there wasn’t much left to the imagination in many of the ensembles.
Breast-baring tops were a common sight, and were often paired with a laced-up detail or an opportunely placed zipper. It was certainly a noticeable trait of the evening, and likely generated a lot of attention. Some of the Puma “athlesiure” was absent in this collection, but with Rihanna at the helm, some of that was to be expected.
“I’m inspired by my attitude more than anything,” Rihanna told Vogue. “Literally from my album to my collection, everything has been stemming from what makes me feeling something, what moves me.”
That much can be seen in the way the clothes are portrayed. It’s almost hard not to imagine Rihanna herself wearing each of the looks as they take their turn on the runway. The runway show featured women’s and men’s looks, but that didn’t add a ripple to the fact that the Barbadian singer could pull off any one of the looks – and will, if her attitude calls for it.
The styling of the models was another interesting decision on the Barbadian singer’s part. A white chalk was used on models’ hair and on their faces in almost a war paint way, which contrasted heavily against the straight black lipstick on many. The accessories featured a lot of crucifixes, chokers, and nose rings, which were playing into the gothic theme of the evening show.
Without the blatant sportiness rearing its head in this showing, and without context, Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma collection would almost seem better suited for a Hot Topic runway show than for Puma. They both have a similar aesthetic of Gothicism. You can see the influences of athletic wear spread out to some of the outfits, but the streetwear in this collection loses the essence of the brand. That being said, with Rihanna as creative director, essentially whatever she decides to put on the runway is the brand’s new M.O.
This show is certainly geared more toward fans of Rihanna than fans of Puma, which will likely make demand a lot higher for this particular collection. With a superstar status comes an astronomical following, and Puma sales will undoubtedly benefit greatly from the numbers. Although there is a good possibility that past Puma shoppers might not be able to find what they are looking for anymore.
Lace-up and sheer lace dresses and thigh-high lace boots are bold new statements on the runway, but items like strappy sports bras and black sneakers might be among the only things on the shopping list for past Puma shoppers.
Photos courtesy of Vogue