Rihanna: I break fashion rules
Published 03/06/2014 | 09:27
Rihanna declared she aims to break the rules of style as she was named an icon at a prestigious fashion event wearing a see-through dress.
The singer's outfit left little to the imagination as she was presented with the 2014 Fashion Icon Award from the Council of Fashion Designers of America, by US Vogue editor Anna Wintour, who said that with Rihanna "the point is to be audacious - even jaw-dropping or button-pushing".
Rihanna certainly hit that point home with her outfit - a sheer fishnet gown, sparkling with thousands of embedded crystals, that revealed her breasts and many tattoos underneath, teamed with a matching cap and long gloves and a pink fur wrap.
Accepting the award, Rihanna spoke of her origins in Barbados, where "I didn't have a lot of access to fashion". But she added: "Fashion has always been my defence mechanism." Even as a child, she told the crowd, she used to think: "She can beat me, but she can't beat my outfit.
"I can compensate for all my weaknesses with my fashion," she said, adding: "There are rules, but rules are meant to be broken."
The annual CFDA show, hosted this year by director and screenwriter John Waters at the Lincoln Centre in New York, always draws a mix of fashion insiders and Hollywood A-listers. This year, one of the biggest names was Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o, who presented the womenswear award.
Lupita, who has become as famous for her choices on the red carpet as her sky-rocketing acting career, told the crowd that if there was one thing she had learned in a year of film festivals and awards shows "it is the power of fashion". She wore a cropped Suno jumpsuit, in multi-coloured stripes.
Gossip Girl star Blake Lively stole the spotlight on the red carpet when it came to style. Accompanied by designer Michael Kors she sparkled in his gold mini-dress.
Other stars in attendance included Emmy Rossum in a green chiffon J Mendel gown and Greta Gerwig, who wore a bright orange frock by Zac Posen.
But none made as big a splash as Rihanna, in her translucent outfit designed by Adam Selman that was embedded with more than 200,000 Swarovski crystals.
Speaking of Rihanna before the show, designer Zac Posen called the pop star a fashion risk-taker who skilfully melds red carpet glamour with a rebellious streak.
"She takes risks and she marches to her own drum and she knows what she likes," Zac said.
Rihanna also has a great appreciation for designers, Zac added: "That's why people love to dress her."
The event also saw d esigner Tom Ford presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award.