PARIS — At 3:05 a.m., Rihanna arrived at her afterparty at the VIP Room. She had just wrapped the fourth stop stop on her globe-trotting, weeklong tour to promote Monday's release of her album, Unapologetic, and assembled clubgoers had been tittering about her rumored arrival for hours. A throng outside the venue waited in the cold in anticipation of even just a glimpse at the pop megastar.
Finally, in a roped-off segment of the middle balcony in this three-story dance club, Rih Rih arrived dressed — as she was for the show at Le Trianon — in her satin tee and thigh-high boot ensemble with a denim Carhartt jacket draped over her shoulders. The crowds parted and roared with enthusiasm as Rihanna appeared. Champagne was uncorked in celebration and the fray were further treated to a surprise when the star-studded cast who accompanied her ended up being none other than Diddy, Cassie, Pharrell, Akon and Omarion. No big deal.
It was bedlam as Parisians and paparazzi alike clamored for a photo in a flurry of camera flashes. Squads of enormous bodyguards flanked the crew and sunglasses in the club were a must.
Rihanna's tour DJ, DJ Reflex, threw on her lead single "Diamonds" and festivities resumed. Sparklers were lit by the kilt-clad, largely male VIP staff (wedging the hand-held fireworks into champagne bottles is a thing here), and shots of vodka were distributed as Diddy and Rih waved to the crowd on the dance floor below.
What has already proven to be an exciting tour — including high-energy concerts in Mexico City, fashionable Stockholm and Toronto — is shaping up to be filled with glamorous surprises. What these sparkly cameos mean for her album-release party in London remains to be seen. For now, we're headed to Berlin and, in the interim, disco naps for everyone!