Style Fashion

Saturday 30 August 2014

'I'm a prude, I'm catching up to her' - Rihanna's stylist on that sheer dress

Published 04/06/2014 | 09:12

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NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 02: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains nudity.) Rihanna attends the 2014 CFDA fashion awards at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on June 2, 2014 in New York City.  (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 02: (EDITORS NOTE: Image contains nudity.) Rihanna attends the 2014 CFDA fashion awards at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on June 2, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)

If Rihanna knows one thing, it’s how to get the world talking.

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The CFDA Fashion Icon of the Year proved this when she stepped out in a sheer crystal gown.

But this sartorial choice was no last minute pick - Rihanna and her team had spent months on this look, which was suitably show stopping for receiving the coveted Icon accolade.

While en route with Rihanna to the awards ceremony, her stylist Mel Ottenberg said:

“I don’t know if it’s shocking—I’m with her all the time, so my shock gauge is off, but I told her that I thought she was ready for this dress a while ago, and that I wasn’t. I’m the prude, and I’m just catching up.”

Indeed, the world gasped when the pictures were published the following morning. Even for Rihanna, who was banned from Instagram after her copious nip-flashes, the level of nudity was off the charts.

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The dress, form fitting mesh scattered with 230,000 iridescent Swarovski crystals, was designed by Adam Selman.

Selman- Ottenberg’s boyfriend and designer of Rihanna’s stage costumes since 2011- told style.com:

“The dress is just fishnet and crystals and a couple of fingers crossed. But fashion is about beauty, and the female body is part of that.”

Eight people worked through the night to put last minute finishing touches on the gown.

The outfit was elevated to other-worldly status by Rihanna’s decision to add a sparkling headscarf, reminiscent of Karolina Kurkova’s Met Ball 2012 outfit designed by Rachel Zoe.

A pink fur stole, Manolo Blahnik heels and understated jewellery rounded off the look which aimed to be equal parts art-deco glam and modern Hollywood showgirl.

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Selman, who co-designed Rihanna’s River Island capsule collection, is honoured that the 26-year-old Bajan beauty chose him to dress her on one of the biggest nights of her career.

He said: “She could have had any designer make any dress, so for me it’s an exciting statement that she chose to wear me on such a big night of fashion. She has really put me in the spotlight.”

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