The ELLE office is abuzz with Rihanna excitement. It’s a double whammy. Not only, as you will have heard by now, is the pop sensation our April cover star, but tomorrow she’s in London to unveil her collection for River Island.
We’ll be backstage to bring you an exclusive first look at what’s shaping up to be the biggest party of London Fashion Week. But, while the rest of the fashion industry has to wait until the clothes hit the catwalk tomorrow night to see exactly what it looks like, we’ve been lucky enough to see it already. ELLE’s Fashion Director, Anne-Marie Curtis, styled Rihanna for her cover shoot in the pieces that the singer had designed. Here’s her verdict:
‘OK, I’ll be honest; when I heard Rihanna was doing a collection for River Island, my first reaction was, "Great, but not for me." I'm a big fan of her music but my perception of her style was squarely rooted in the raunchy stage wear and street style that are synonymous with her image. How wrong I was.
'Aside from a nod to street style in the denim section, the collection was an ode to all things high fashion. Think Eighties Norma Kamali meets Alexander Wang luxe sportswear. From fluid jersey dresses to sweatshirts to all-in-ones and varying length skirts almost exclusively in a navy, black and white palette, there are myriad options here for even the most discerning fashion eye. Stand-out items include a black jersey column evening dress, a brilliantly cut bra top, a navy cropped sweatshirt, and a properly fabulous denim jumpsuit. My personal favourite, if I had to choose one thing, is a jersey skirt that has a silk shirt attached with sleeves that tie at the waist (less complicated than it sounds!). I spotted at least half a dozen pieces I would not only happily feature in the fashion pages of ELLE but also things I am desperate to get my hands on and wear.
'Rihanna really does have a great eye for fashion and the attention to details and styling elevated the collection to proper collector's item status. I shall be joining the queue on 5 March to get my hands on a few pieces and I advise you do too. Rihanna's all grown up and it’s a very good look.’
So there you have it. And while we’re teasing you on the subject, here’s a sneak peek at what Rihanna herself told us about why she wanted to team up with River Island. ‘I love the high street shops. The stylish kids on the street, they’re the ones that set the trends. The designers all want to see what they’re doing and they go out and design their line and sell it back to the same kids and it’s like: who not go directly to the source? I find in the high street shops they pay more attention to the street fashion than what’s going on in high fashion. And they turn stuff around pretty quickly.’
You can read the full interview in our April issue when it goes on sale on 6 March.