'Fashion and music go hand-in-hand. I want something fresh and original so Im looking for the next trend-setting designer Rihanna says of her imminent Styled to Rock show in which 12 budding designers dress a popstar collective of Cheryl Cole, Katy Perry, Rizzle Kicks, Scissor Sisters, Little Mix and Tinchy Strider in a bid to win the prize of dressing Rihanna on stage. Were hoping to find the next superstar designer to dress superstars she adds, this is the biggest fashion gig.
And as all good gigs have an entourage, it was left to Rihannas panel of mentors to promote to the Sky Living show yesterday in London.
House of Hollands Henry Holland, ex Girls Aloud Nicola Roberts and Rihannas stylist Lysa Cooper are the team on the ground guiding the designers through the treacherous area of dressing celebrities, and they should know.
Youre dressing popstars who dont dress safe says Nicola Roberts, but you need to feel as comfortable as possible. The designer needs to get in to the head of the artist so that they feel ready to perform but also, theres a fanbase out there that you need to connect with. Its not like dressing a model.
Think about the X Factor and how much reaction the outfits get before theyve even opened their mouths says the girl who won Popstars: The Rivals in 2002.
Theres specific technical things that you need to take in to account, agrees Henry Holland, they had to create for different occasions, so sometimes it would be a press junket or a red carpet, where you dont need them to be able to walk. But on the flipside theres a performance artist who needs stage-wear and structural things and flesh coloured tights. Yes, flesh-coloured tights. And you thought the music business was glamorous.
But how do artists cope with dancing in 6 heels? Whitney Houston said that if you dont sweat, the audience doesnt think youre working hard enough, says Lysa Cooper, they want to see you mean it.
Rihanna met the final 50 designers on a recent trip to London. Her stylist Lysa Cooper credits her rise to style icon on her willingness to experiment. Rihanna dresses for the moment, how she feels... her style comes from the heart and I think shes at that age where you experiment... because youre 24 and you can.
Her style shows that shes never put on anything that someone else has told her to, says firm friend Henry. Shes not fixated on one thing so it never gets boring adds Nicola.
Thousands applied for the apprenticeship and the trip hope to launch new design talent in to the industry. Henry confirmed that one show graduate was working at his design studio already. Watch your back Stella, we have 12 young budding designers he says.
Watch Styled to Rock from 9:00pm on 14 August on Sky Living.
See how Rihanna's style has evolved
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