Rihanna, she of excellent red-carpet choices, has gone and launched a clothing line with River Island—a UK-based manufacturer of unremarkable basics—during London Fashion Week that, despite the star power, failed to sparkle. Critics rushed to decry the range, co-designed by Adam Selman, as slutty and uninspired. And we can’t argue with that. Think black mesh, denim crop tops, skintight liquid dresses, jackets tied around waists, and lots of very high slits in long skirts. Rihanna has great gams, after all.
In a week that saw unforgettable collections from Tom Ford and Burberry, it’s a little hard to overlook a flop that didn’t have to be. But, as if the line needed another reason to poo-poo it, the lightening-rod essayist and self-described “dissident feminist” Camille Paglia wrote an article in the Sunday Times magazine the next day comparing Rihanna with Princess Diana. She ascribed, to both, a “ravishingly seductive flirtation with the world press” and suggested that their troubled personal lives contributed to their success. Needless to say, the parallel didn’t go over very well in Britain.
But back to fashion. Considering Rihanna normally wears statement pieces from the likes of Givenchy, Vivienne Westwood, and Raf Simons, she already has plenty of material to work from.