Rihanna launches her River Island collection in store

You can buy the collection from tonight

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The countdown is almost over - the Rihanna for River Island collection is hitting shop floors tonight and in a matter of hours you'll finally be able to get your hands on it.

In fact, right now some lucky fashion fans are about to shop their favourite pieces. We've just come from River Island's flagship store where ELLE's April cover star unveiled her creations with a catwalk show.

So what happened? Along with 75 competition winners we headed along this evening to get a front row view. Naturally RiRi was a little on the late side - frankly we'd have been disappointed if she'd turned up on time - but we were patient. She's worth waiting for for. We had a chat to some of the throroughly over-excited fans who had travelled from all over the country for a chance to see their idol in the flesh. 'I'm really excited about this evening,' one told us, 'I didn't believe it when they first rang up, I didn't think it was real! I'm really looking forward to seeing Rihanna strutting on the catwalk and then having a photo of her to show off to all my friends.'

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Before long we could see on a big screen that she was backstage, all long limbs and perfect hair in a thigh-split black dress from her collection. And she was busy prepping the models, straightening skirts and tidying stray hairs.

Finally the lights went down and the music went up and a curtain fell away from the store window so that the screaming fans waiting patiently outside could get a slice of the action. Models strode the catwalk sporting highlights from the collection - the long black dungaree dress, the leather-sleeved varsity jacket, the hooded jumpsuit and more. And then Rihanna took her bow at the end of the show to whoops and shouts, thanking the crowd and waving and smiling and looking, as ever, perfect.

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As we speak she's meeting the competition winners before they get a chance to shop the collection ahead of everyone else - and then it's nearly your turn. The doors of the Oxford Street store are set to open later tonight and those who have been queuing for hours will be able to shop until midnight. Then, at 1am, the collection will be available online. And, finally, tomorrow morning you'll be able to shop it in selected branches of River Island across the country.

As for Rihanna she's heading to the after-party at a London club in an hour or two - and we'll be joining her. Check back tomorrow for a full report.

Shop the Rihanna for River Island collection at www.riverisland.com/rihanna

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