It’s safe to say Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty show arrived on Amazon Prime Video with an empowering bang that just knocked all of Victoria’s Secrets out of their drawers.
As a lifelong fan of the Victoria’s Secret brand, their annual fashion show was one of my favourite events in the showbiz calendar. There were times I would count down the days until I could see the likes of Adriana Lima, Doutzen Kroes, Ming Xi, Jasmine Tookes and Candace Swanepoel strutting their stuff down the runway.
I praised the ladies for working out like athletes to get in the best shape to strap on those heavenly wings and dazzling bras. And I watched in horror when Lais Ribeiro sprained her ankle the day before the 2012 show, leading Behati Prinsloo to step into her carefully customised undies instead.
In my head, the incident explained the practical reason why Victoria’s Secret models all had to be around the same size. But then Rihanna launched Savage x Fenty in 2018 and shook the damn table. And if we thought her first show was unique, then her latest presentation at New York Fashion Week was out of this world.
It was a masterclass in diversity, living up to the brand’s promise of ‘celebrating fearlessness, confidence and inclusivity.’ Savage X Fenty once again brought us a show from a female lens, and unsurprisingly, it made women like me feel incredibly empowered.
Rihanna and her team simply wants every single person’s body to be seen and celebrated like a ‘work of art’, rather than just a clothes horse to be outshone by the art.
Victoria’s Secret’s Achilles heel in recent years has been the lack of complete inclusivity and diversity. While they do have a variety of ethnicities and skin tones in the show, every model on the runway was pretty much the same shape and size.
Meanwhile, the models chosen to play a part in Rihanna’s game-changing revealed just how well size inclusivity and diversity can work in the world of fashion. In fact, the very first woman to model an outfit in the show was a plus-size black woman, and there’s no stronger statement than that.
As the mix of professional models and normal women walked, danced and twerked their way around the Grecian-inspired set in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center, we were given the best advertisement for lingerie I’ve ever seen in my life.
Big names like Gigi and Bella Hadid, Cara Delevingne and Joan Smalls walked alongside women who would never have been given a chance to participate in such a high profile celebration of sexiness. Amputees, trans superstars and curvier models that would never have been highlighted in this ‘fashion’ world had an equal opportunity to shine and it was a joy to behold.
Plus, if you ever wanted to know how well a piece of underwear would hold up during the wildest of movements, then look no further than watching dancers shake what their mama gave ‘em under the slick direction of choreographer Parris Goebel.
A long-time collaborator of Rihanna, Parris is famous for her mesmerising, powerful and unapologetically sexy dancing style and her vision merged perfectly with Rihanna’s to deliver a show that was crazy, sexy and oh so cool.
I don’t know about you, but seeing Normani’s boobs stay completely secure in her bra while they bounced with a force that could make the earth shake made it clear that the Savage x Fenty undies have what it takes for any and every situation. Wink.
The Savage x Fenty show managed to get it so right because she has lived life as a woman who has once been left out of a narrative, and has family and friends who never saw themselves represented on a runway.
Once Rihanna had the power to change that, she did it with no regard for what the powers that be would think about it because she just wants us all to ‘feel sexy and have fun doing it’.
And over the course of her 50-minute masterpiece, myself and everyone else watching was left feeling like we are already sexy AF just as we are.
If dear old Victoria wants to stop getting her knickers in a twist, then she would do well to take a few tips from Bad Gal Riri’s rulebook.
The daily lifestyle email from Metro.co.uk.
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