Queen of fashion? A bona fide chameleon? The edgiest pop star to rock the charts? When referring to Rihanna, all of these questions can be met with a definite ‘yes’, a sentiment the music and fashion industry have repeatedly confirmed for the past decade of her career. But opinion isn’t paramount for the Barbados born pop singer; she has notably always done things her way.
Celebrated and simultaneously critiscised for pushing boundaries with her music, it’s her style that has captured the world’s attention. Whether on the red carpet, on a parade float in Trinidad, courtside at a basketball game, on Instagram; she’s profoundly stylish whenever she steps out into the spotlight.
Which is why it comes as no surprise that 2015 has been the year of Rihanna and Dior, to say the least. In March, Dior announced she was a new face of the brand, joining the likes of Marion Cotillard, Natalie Portman, and Jennifer Lawrence who each represent different Dior elements, from fragrance to beauty to couture.
Shortly thereafter in May, she appeared in the Steven Klein directed fashion film 'Secret Garden IV'. Shot in Versailles, France at Le Palais de Versailles, formaly the home of historic French figure Marie Antoinette. Rihanna's role finalised the Secret Garden Series that were previously filmed by Inez van Lamsweerde and Vinoodh Matadin and featured models like Daria Storkus and Xiao Wen Ju.
The film documents Rihanna strutting through Versailles, taking the night by storm in in some incredible looks from Dior’s latest collection. Glamour and sophistication tinged by despair, Rihanna emits serious sex appeal as she struts in sky-high heels around an empty palace. By simultaneously releasing one of her newest songs “Only If For A Night” as part of the video’s soundtrack, she reveals a preview of her anticipated upcoming album #R8.
Then just last week, she released on both her official Instagram and Facebook pages yet another Dior campaign. Sultry and sensual while wearing the intricate Autumn/Winter 2015-2016 collection, this time she’s collaborated with notable high fashion photographer Craig McDean. His roster of celebrities profiled includes Kate Moss, Anne Hatheway, Scarlett Johansson, and her fellow Dior rep Natalie Portman.
For Dior, the French fashion house eponymous with luxury and haute couture, Rihanna is the first Black woman to front any of their campaigns. A fashion house known to typically partner with Oscar winning actresses sans tattoos or piercings, she proves her indisputable energy defines new luxury.
But why Rihanna? Pairing with an influencer takes careful consideration, and the race to collaborate with the biggest industry stars is a competitive one between houses of haute couture. With multi-million dollar budgets, the campaigns are typically heralded around the world of fashion and art, but Dior’s choice to feature a musician is also an inaugural detail.
Her die-hard ‘navy’ of superfans not only admires her work as an artist, they hang on her every Instagram for the next original look she shares. Rihanna sets trends across all genres of the fashion spectrum: makeup, hairstyles, jewellery, body art, even fragrance, of which she has her own titled “RiRi by Rihanna”.
She’s announced her role as creative director for PUMA, released a sock collection with Stance, and continues to make major moves in the design world. Her evolving street style and red carpet home runs prove she is a CFDA winner for a reason. As far as her edgy, chameleon-like abilities to influence the world with her style, Dior is another jewel in her crown.
We take a look back at her long history with Dior, dating back to 2009:
Rihanna attends Christian Dior Pret a Porter during Paris Womenswear Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2010 in October 2009.
Looking powdery pink in Dior, she signs augtographs as she arrives at Nickelodeon's 23rd Annual Kids' Choice Awards in March 2010.
Rihanna attends The Brit Awards held at The O2 Arena in February 2011 in London, England.
Looking fierce, she performs onstage with Eminem during the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards held at Staples Center in February 2011 in Los Angeles, California.
Rihanna, her assistant Jen, and actress Jessica Alba attend the Christian Dior show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2014-2015 on February 28, 2014 in Paris, France.
Paul McCartney and Rihanna perform onstage during the 57th Annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center in February 2015.
Rihanna arrives at the Christian Dior Cruise 2015 Show at The Brooklyn Navy Yard in May 2014 in Brooklyn City, New York.
Rihanna in Dior at the film premiere of 'HOME' in Los Angeles, California March 2015.
Rihanna arrives to the Christian Dior Tokyo Autumn/Winter 2015-16 Ready-To-Wear Show at The National Art Center Tokyo in July 2015.