On Saturday, Rihanna joined the ranks of designers showing at London Fashion Week with her first collection for UK retailer, River Island. After a late start, the room filled with editors, celebrities and photographers watched as models took the stage in ’90s grunge-inspired floor-length tank dresses with high slits, crop tops and pencil skirts, loose-fitting jumpsuits and curve-hugging maxi skirts. The response has been negative from several members of the fashion press, including one scathing article in The Daily Beast which called the clothes “porny” and “hideous.” It also included this quip:
Similarly, if you were a guy hoping for a one night stand and a girl started chatting to you in a bar wearing anything from the Rihanna for River Island collection, you could feel fair confident you’d be getting lucky. The only lingering uncertainty in your mind would be whether or not she would take a credit card.
Some feel the harsh reception is due to backlash from the influx of celebrity designers. London Fashion Week, which provides a platform to such brilliant artisans as Mary Katrantzou and Christopher Bailey of Burberry, isn’t the place for a famous singer without design experience or a fully-developed point-of-view.
Still, to call the clothes “hideous” and befitting of a prostitute seems unfair. Rihanna’s collection is for River Island, a mass UK retailer who would be less likely to encourage fashion-forward designs and more compelled to push out wearable clothes that will sell in the market.
Furthermore, it caters to her Rihanna’s base and the River Island consumer. The pieces are earmarked for the fun, young and sassy consumer who is drawn to flirty pieces that show a little skin. See her full collection here.