Rihanna performing in custom Riccardo Tisci on the Diamonds World Tour.
Last night, Maud and I had the pleasure of seeing Rihanna in Brooklyn for the New York stop on her sold-out Diamonds World Tour. Actually, the show was supposed to be on Saturday but there was some scheduling kerfuffle involving The Nets and that’s pretty much where my knowledge and interests end because I know ZERO about all sports outside of competitive eating. Anyway, as you know, we’ve been covering the DWT extensively, as well as the incredible performance outfits dreamt up by her genius styling team Adam Selman and Mel Ottenberg, so here are our collective thoughts on Rihanna’s DWT togs IRL. Warning: be prepared for a DEPRESSING amount of envy given the all-custom-everything nature of the clothes that are displayed on the borg-perfect body of a bajillionaire.
MARY H.K. CHOI: SO. Barclays Center! Did you know that it doesn’t have an apostrophe, like, Barneys? I learned that this morning. I had never been before, had you? #sportsballsuxxx
MAUD DEITCH: I had not! It’s so much more bougie than MSG, but I was really impressed by the consistency of the style amongst the fans that we saw. I feel like there’s a secret trend vortex that the Navy exists within that I wasn’t aware of.
MHKC: Agreed! But first to recap, we went to our 8th Rihanna concert in six months since we were on her 777 world tour late last year. And all her fans turned out in droves, maybe all potentially wearing ASOS?
Rihanna fans outside of Barclays Center.
Photo: Intothegloss’ instagram
MD: ASOS and studded pum pum shorts, which, maybe those were ASOS too? I can’t believe we’ve only seen her eight times, it feels like more.
MHKC: I’ve seen her nine times total but at that point, it’s really splitting hairs. It was balmy last night which would explain the booty shorts, but the other interesting thing is that a lot of the girls were also dressed like dominatrix secretaries? Sort of prim and proper?
BUT ENOUGH, we are here to talk about Rihanna’s clothes in action. We saw Adam and Mel sitting in the front and man, I have to say I am continually BLOWN AWAY by what they do. Especially in conjunction with Rihanna’s VERYMUCH-RIDIC body.
MD: When I interviewed Adam couple weeks ago he said that one of the best things about his job was getting to dress someone with a body like that. I mean can you imagine? The woman can literally wear an oversized T-shirt and some heels and look like she’s ready for a formal event… kind of “formal” in a certain sense. She looks “dressed” is what I mean. If I wore that, I would just look like I had forgotten my pants, full-stop.
MHKC: Speaking of T-shirt, I think my favorite aspect of their collaboration is that he continues to highlight her femininity by using masculine motifs and flipping them. She’s so sexy and sexualized but it’s not infantilizing and it’s not soo… BINDING.
MD: No, it brings out the power in her body.
MHKC: You couldn’t get further away from the “safe” nude platform heel + flattering midi dress lane that so many women languish in.
MD: It’s clear that the three of them are really communicating.
MHKC: Agreed. It’s such a modern take on TLC and Aaliyah, you can see some hat-tips but it never looks contrived or costumey or throw-backy. So the first outfit! The sheer black tee with the shorts and the black over-the-knee boots dripping in gold grommets.
MD: Custom Riccardo Tisci, all of it. That was the most classically “Rihanna” look to me.
MHKC: Absolutely. I love Rih x Tisci. She’s been heavy into OTKs or Pretty Woman boots this year. Actually, for several years now by my count.
MD: Yes, and the pantsless thing is classic Rih. But I love that rather than going with plain undergarments, they went with a really heavily-patterned shorts and crop top look under the shirt, I really noticed that star on the back while she was dancing, but it seemed almost like a surprise. That whole, “the sexiest thing is to reveal some but not all” thing.
Rihanna performing in custom Raf Simons on her Diamonds World Tour.
Photo: Splash News
MHKC: Totally. She was doing a lot more dancing in general, too. And so much texture, between the sequined jumpsuit and the mesh. It’s really a testament to dressing for function without compromising the dumbfounding awesomeness. On that tip, flats were a good look for her opener. That Raf Simmons jersey sitch with the blinding white, OTK LouBou boots was a pretty classic look as well. There was so much light bouncing all over the place.
MD: I wouldn’t call those boots OTK, quite. They were beyond OTK.
MHKC: Right. They were nigh-crotch.
MHKC: Under the crotch?
MD: Yes. That’s so gross sounding.
MHKC: Crotch-touching boots let’s say, because booties are technically UTC, too. It’s all under the crotch somewhere.
MHKC: “Crotch” is gross. EW. Crotch-skimming is the WORST. Basically, they went up really, really high.
MD: Agreed that flats were a good look to start with.
Rihanna performing in custom Adam Selman on the Diamonds World Tour.
Photo: Splash News
MHKC: Totally. She stayed in that Raf look for a minute but then rolled out that moto situation. That HAD to be custom, too.
MD: That look surprised me, although we had seen it before in photos. That whole section of the show was surprising, vibes-wise.
Rihanna’s backup singers wore these custom Peggy Noland rompers.
Photo: Mel Ottenberg’s Instagram
MHKC: Right, because it got HEAVY into that one aesthetic. Even her backup singers were wearing custom Peggy Noland race-car driver rompers. And those repeated motorcycle graphics. That bit went on a touch I thought. Mostly because it felt like a non-sequitor. I couldn’t tell what it was all designed to lead up to.
MD: I thought the Peggy Noland rompers were another super boss move on the part of her styling team, to make the backup singers a real part of the theme rather than having them blend into the background, but overall I thought it went on too long as well.
MHKC: The singers and dancers all looked tremendous.
MD: Truly tremendous, so FLY.
MHKC: Remember for that bit, the dancers were wearing black-and-white allover check. Continuity!
MD: With black, mock turtleneck crop tops.
MHKC: GOOD LOOKS. Especially all that Hood by Air.
Rihanna’s backup dancers in Hood By Air.
Photo: Mel Ottenberg’s Instagram
MD: They looked simultaneously ska and mod and also TLC.
MHKC: YES. OK, not to be hateful and meandering but SIDEBAR: how weird was the mood of the show in general? How drunk was everyone? People were SO drunk!
MD: People were Saturday drunk on a Tuesday, which is the worst look. Rihanna’s aforementioned black, red, and yellow bustier and pants moto number was custom Adam Selman, BTW.
MHKC: Well, we knew it had to be Adam Selman because that balconette/bustier thing that he did for her during the 777 tour also fit like a miracle. It’s like he just extended that bra into a skintight, Piet Mondrian-ish, anime-ish, moto outfit. It accentuated her body like CUHRAZY. The black stripes, that were like piping but laid flat, basically made her look UNREAL. Like, hardbody as F.
MD: The nod to Mondrian is both brilliant and a bit of a shame because I feel like that was lost in the overall design of that segment.
MHKC: I mean, she looked like a superhero, everything was flawless. Especially with her hair all long and wavy and shaved to the side.
MD: And the custom Manolos underneath, which are SNAKESKIN, although we couldn’t tell that, really brought it over the top.
MHKC: WAIT. HOLD UP.
MHKC: She has snakeskin custom Manolos and snakeskin Tom Ford OTKs? Sometimes I envy her life so hard it makes me feel cold inside.
MD: I KNOW, but it’s not real jealousy because it’s so ungettable. I want a normal person approximation of her life.
MHKC: You’re right. I want ZERO of the drama and ZERO of the what’s-his-name, but I do want the clothes. Also, to be honest I would probably never wear UTCs or OTKs. IN CONTRARY SUMMATION: DO NOT WANT HER LIFE. Do want that RiRiWoo lipstick though.
MD: UM, yes, that MAC pop-up was very impressive looking.
MHKC: I had fun at the show. She was also very almost basically on time!
MD: I did too! And she played all the hits.
Rihanna performing on the Diamonds World Tour.
Photo: Splash News
MHKC: OH SNAP. We have to talk about that last outfit though because that was our favorite, right? We adored that halter sequin thing, but we LOOOOOVED that ice skater/cheerleader dress?
MD: That was definitely my favorite.
MHKC: That was apparently mirrored unless I was having a stroke?
MD: I BELIEVE the last dress was holographic, but I couldn’t tell if it was the same one she for the first show, in Buffalo, which was also holographic with an allover money print. If it was the same, the print didn’t translate even from our pretty-good-if-I-do-say-so-myself seats.
MHKC: We did have excellent seats. ALL I SEE IS SIGNS.
MD: MONEY ON MY MIND MONEY MONEY ON MY MIND.
MHKC: That dress was brilliant. Possibly holographic. Most likely made with baby unicorn souls.
MD: 10,000 baby unicorns.
MHKC: Just the souls though. The rest of it doesn’t have BODY.
MD: They used the hair for something else… I feel like there’s maybe a through-line between the clothes in DWT and Blonde Ambition.
MHKC: Yes and no. To me, you can’t invoke Blonde Ambition without getting into Gaultier. Like, maaaaaaaybe if you want to talk about Madonna’s play on suiting and Rihanna’s masculine sportswear pastiche?
MHKC: But, like, to me, unless you’re talking LEGIT cone bra/corsetry I don’t think so. I mean, attitude-wise SURE. Like, crotch-grabbing GALORE.
MD: So much crotch-grabbing.
MHKC: And even some of the choreography, especially the more, well, CHOREOGRAPHED stuff I could see parallels. And there’s def some “Rhythm Nation” going on with her dancers.—when they were serving all black with the mullet shirt and black caps. That was SO GOOD.
MD: It was so Janet.
MHKC: Yeah, it was a thoughtful show to look at with tons of fashion Easter Eggs. Can’t help but wonder if the HELLA WASTED girls who were seated next to us with their ONE THOUSAND BEERS sloshing all over the place noticed. I hope they got home OK.
MD: Right that’s one of the more interesting things to think about, for me. Clearly a lot of the Navy does notice, and they react accordingly in their own slightly mall-bound way. But those girls, I’m not even sure they could hear the music above the sound of their own wastedness.
MHKC: Mall-bound? You’re going to get murdered by the Navy. Bye. RIP Maud.
MD: I MEAN THAT WITH SO MUCH LOVE THO.
MD: Who isn’t mall-bound when you’re talking about custom Tisci?!?!?!?!?!?!
MHKC: GOOD SAVE. Now we just have to watch the 777 documentary that we’ve been avoiding.
MD: I will love Rihanna forever and ever, no matter what she does to me. It’s really a thing. Amazing.
MHKC: Yeah, me too.