SUNDAY TIMES - Rihanna channels 'Clueless' for her sassy new fashion collection
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Sunday Times Fashion By Bethan Holt, 2017-03-09 09:36:03.0

Rihanna channels 'Clueless' for her sassy new fashion collection

Rihanna's designs were inspired by the sartorial staples of the classroom.
Image: Kristy Sparrow/Getty Images for Fenty Puma

Rihanna this week unveiled her latest Fenty x Puma collection in Paris. Like a rebel tearing up the school rule book, the global superstar brought a booming soundtrack, flashing lights and models stomping on desks to the usually tranquil and studious environs of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France.

It was a decision which made sense though, as Rihanna riffed on collegiate classics and the tribes of the playground, bringing her signature attitude-laden and sporty spin to designs inspired by the sartorial staples of the classroom.

Front row to watch the spectacle was Cara Delevingne, channelling the perfect just-got-out-bed teen look in an oversized hoodie which she had shrugged over her newly platinum blonde hair.

While Rihanna and Puma (the collection is named Fenty after the Barbadian singer's surname) might not have the heritage and kudos of the other storied names which show at Paris fashion week, the collaboration brings buzz in spades.

The show was livestreamed from Rihanna's Instagram account with as many as 100,000 of her adoring fans tuning in to watch it live.

If school was the general theme, then rebels were the heroes of the show. The first look comprised a padded, floor-length tartan coat worn open so that the model's (pierced) nipples and silky matching boxer shorts were exposed. High-heeled boots finished the daring look. That theme continued in hoods pulled up to cover the eyes, slashed crop tops and trailing long sleeves.

It was an updated vision of the seminal 1995 film Clueless. Like Cher and Dionne - renowned for their mini kilts and thigh-high socks - the stars of Rihanna's show had made their uniforms their own. What may once have been a prim cricket jumper was slashed and stretched to become a slouchy mini dress while a varsity knit was shrunken and layered over a high-cut tangerine body suit. There was even a section dedicated to goths, in all their head-to-toe black glory with only acid-hue hair as a pop of colour.

A model walks the runway during Fenty Puma by Rihanna Fall/Winter 2017 Collection at Bibliotheque Nationale de France in Paris. Image: Kristy Sparrow/Getty Images for Fenty Puma


Students of Rihanna's sass-infused personal style will recognise plenty of familiar elements; her beloved thigh-high boots appeared emblazoned with the Puma logo and with trainer-style lacing, oversized sportswear contrasted with slick, sexy pieces in bold shades of apple and sunshine yellow.

Many of the models - a pleasingly diverse cast which counted glamazon Joan Smalls and Londoner Adwoa Aboah among their number - wore the same giant hoop earrings as Rihanna herself.

When the collection goes on sale in Puma stores around the world this week, there will - cleverly - be much to buy, from baseball caps and sports-striped socks to velour tracksuit bottoms and duvet coats. - The Daily Telegraph