Despite teasing the album for over 19 months, releasing a number of singles and music videos during the first half of the year, launching a new website for the record in mid-November and announcing a promotional world tour with Travi$ Scott, Big Sean and the Weeknd, Rihanna’s highly anticipated eighth studio album Anti is still no where to be found.
So, before my patience chisels down to the point of not even caring anymore, I’m going to take a moment to hone in another one of RiRi’s attributes that endorses her she-boss status, because promptness clearly isn’t one of them.
Whether she’s strutting down the red carpet in priceless couture, getting papped off-guard on the streets or posing in next-to-nothing music video getups, Rihanna’s style is among the most lauded, influential and appropriated in the entertainment industry.
So while you’re not thinking about when Anti will finally come into fruition, check out some of our favorite bad gal’s best style moments below.
Also, be sure to check out the complete evolution of Rihanna’s aural and visual aesthetics.
After being honored with the Fashion Icon Award at the 2014 Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards, our girl RiRi ensured that all eyes were on her to celebrate her big accolade. Leaving little to the imagination, the singer single-handedly stole the spotlight in a racy sheer embellished halter dress custom made by designer Adam Selman that comprised of over 216,000 Swarovski crystals.
Grinch Stole My Look
’90s hip-hop glam meets Doctor Seuss sex worker, whatever look Rihanna was going for with this number, she completely owned it. Decked out in an emerald green Versace fur coat, thigh-high boots, nameplate necklace and oversized sunglasses, RiRi was the talk of the town when she delivered the first performance of her smash single “Bitch Better Have My Money” at the 2015 iHeartRadio Music Awards in this eye-grabbing green getup.
The only thing that can parallel the sensational violence in the high-octane video for “Bitch Better Have My Money” is the clip’s eclectic mix of tricked-out outfits. While we could easily include all of Rihanna’s getups in the video, we decided to hone in on this pinstriped pirate-looking ensemble, which features a Ulyana Sergeenko hand-embroidered wool coat, Adam Selman graphic tee and Vetements patent leather thigh-high boots.
Gangsta Goth Queen
The Bajan beauty won in more ways than one at her first-ever iHeartRadio Music Awards back in 2014. Not only did she scoop up over four awards that night – one of which was “Artist of the Year” – RiRi completely rocked this glitzed-out gothic look in a “peek-a-boo” black lace Givenchy Couture gown topped with a crown full of bantu knots that put Miley Cyrus to shame.
Big Bird at the Ball
From pizzas to omelettes, the pop princess was subject to a flurry of viral fan-created memes following her appearance at the Met Gala in May 2015. Further asserting her red carpet-slaying abilities, Rihanna was a dazzling visual feast at the $25,000 ticket affair in this imperial yellow couture gown handmade by esteemed Chinese designer Guo Pei, who spent over two years crafting the piece. “I’m so in love with this dress, but the train is insane!” Rihanna told Vanity Fair. “I can’t really walk in it without any help—but it’s so worth it.” Yes, it certainly was.
We Wake Up Fearless
Rihanna was the ultimate street style muse during her stint at Fall/Winter 2014 Paris Fashion Week, donning a giant white and black “FEAR” faux fur stole by Hyein Seo, who debuted at VFiles’ show earlier that season, an oversized coat from Melitta Baumeister’s Parsons University graduate collection and a bunny-eared Adam Selman toque.
The singer caused quite a commotion when she hit the NYC streets donning a logo-showered crop top and leggings from Alexander Wang’s collection for H&M – one of last year’s most hyped collaborations. Photographed three months prior to the collection’s release, the artist was the first celebrity seen wearing the coveted line, because obviously.
Looking surprisingly softer than usual, the fashion icon cruised through the red carpet at the 2015 Grammy Awards in this poufy, ultra feminine hot pink gown designed by Giambattista Valli. While not my favorite look, you have to give RiRi credit for being quite possibly the only person with the ability to pull off what looks like a giant toilet roll cover.
Rihanna dresses to the nines during her normal everyday attire, so best believe that the pop star will follow suit for Halloween. The “Bitch Better Have My Money” singer went all-out as a ghost Latina thug for All Hallows Eve back in 2013, complete with pale blue body paint, low-slung chinos, Tommy Hilfiger boxer briefs and a top-buttoned plaid shirt. Muy caliente Rihannita.
The bad gal made (or rather wore) quite a statement when she stepped out of the house wearing this bedazzled slogan dress by Australian label Di$count Universe – another VFiles mainstay. The ankle-length dress screamed the words, “YOU WILL NEVER OWN ME” on the front, while “I WILL NEVER FEAR YOU” was slapped along the back. Zero chill, RiRi.
For her “Diamonds” world tour, Riccardo Tisci crafted some bespoke Givenchy garms that the singer wore during the first act of the show. Melding haute couture techniques with Tisci’s streetwear-inspired flair, Rihanna’s opening outfit consisted of a black floor-length ruffled silk-crepe cape and black nappa thigh-high boots with splashes of gold detailing.
Flying is a daunting activity. Lugging around heavy coffin-sized suitcases, poking through countless security checks and having to sit hours on end while being suspended midair. While comfort over style may be the vibe for most people when traveling, Rihanna, the fashionable diva that she is, managed to achieve both in this luxe-lounge getup. Back in March, the singer strutted through New York’s JFK airport while sporting this Raf Simons roller coaster graphic sweatshirt, billowing Jessica Walsh puffer coat, eagle-embroidered Ralph Lauren handbag and a pair of suede creeper-inspired PUMAs.
Dark Doobie Mermaid
At the 2013 American Music Awards, Rihanna accepted her award for Top R&B Female Artist wearing a Dominican doobie wrap – a hair-cap some women tend to reserve for the ride to the salon – paired with a gothy mermaid two-piece custom-made by Jean Paul Gaultier. Again, a look that could only be consummated by RiRi.
In 2009, Rihanna rolled up at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion” Costume Institute Gala in a whimsical waiter-type suit from Dolce & Gabbana’s FW 2009 collection topped with an androgynous bob cut.
While we’re well-accustomed to seeing the Barbadian beauty in various states of undress, the raunchy, pole dance-happy video for the singer’s trap-tastic track “Pour It Up” really takes the cake. Preserving her Queen of Ratchetry title, Rihanna took hold of her golden throne wearing a crystal-encrusted bra, black fetishistic leather evening gloves and a pair of dollar bill-covered stripper shoes.
In early October, Rihanna unveiled both the cover art and title of her highly anticipated eighth studio album – Anti – at a private party in Los Angeles. To celebrate the big news, the singer rocked a ‘90s goth girl band member look wearing a plunging black slip-dress and satin kimono styled with a black choker and a pair of Manolo Blahnik “Chaos” sandals.
Looking fresh out of a streetwear pajama party, RiRi went the pretty in pink route in this matching fuzzy sweat ensemble from East London designer Nasir Mazhar’s SS14 menswear collection.
In the video for Rihanna’s reggae-fused track “Man Down,” the singer went back to her islander roots with a steamy video shot on the northeastern Jamaican coast. While the red haired-pop star sported a number of amazing looks in the video (naturally), RiRi looked especially smoking while getting down at a crimson-lit nightclub in a revealing solider-looking getup complete with Jamaican flag bikini top and kepi hat.
Business in Front, Party in the Back
At the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” Costume Institute Gala in 2011, Rihanna turned heads in a racy Stella McCartney dress that left little to the imagination. A typical “business in front, party in the back” scenario, the singer’s dress appeared rather conservative with just a subtle hint of skin on show, but turn to her backside, and the dress revealed a daring slit up the side held together with sheer mesh. Always full of surprises, aren’t you RiRi.
Flaunting her washboard physique, Rihanna was given the crème de la crème of Stella McCartney’s couture at the 2014 Met Gala in this white floor-length two-piece ensemble. While slightly more subtle than the bad gal’s usual provocative red carpet punches, the singer oozed sex appeal while remaining effortlessly sophisticated, further endorsing her fashion icon status.
The views and opinions expressed in this piece are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the position of Highsnobiety as a whole.
For more celebrity style, be sure to check out From Teen Dream to Hype Machine: The Evolution of Justin Bieber’s Style.