Rihanna recently gave a loud and clear message to the world of fashion: The House of Fenty is alive and well. Her wildly successful lingerie collection, Savage x Fenty premiered its second annual fashion show on Amazon Prime earlier this month. Choreographed by Parris Goebel and featuring appearances and performances by Rosalia, Ella Mai, Travis Scott, and Bad Bunny, this show was just as innovative and memorable as the first. This year’s performance truly shows that Rihanna’s dedication to inclusivity, diversity, and artistic excellence has made her business ventures as profitable as her music career.
The styles showcased and released in this show were explained by Rihanna through vignettes and interview clips scattered between performances. Her focus was on fabric quality, personally innovative design and getting global inspiration to represent and include as many people as possible in her brand. The pieces were all stunning and proved to be inclusive to every shape and size throughout the show, as well as sustaining hours of dancing and rehearsals for the heavily costumed dancers. This leads me to the second highlight: the choreography. Goebel took over the New Zealand dance scene, but is now lending her talents to many celebrities in the U.S. for their shows and tours. The choreography illuminated each performance and turned up the energy in every single segment of the show!
The dancers weren’t the only stars performing in the Savage x Fenty show; the bill of musical performers was selectively chosen and each brought something different to the show. Though Rihanna did not perform (only narrated and served looks), evenly spaced collaborations and music acts provided breaks from visuals and insights to Rihanna’s creative process. Particular highlights were Rosalia, Bad Bunny and Travis Scott: the latter finished the show with a finale set in a warehouse amidst multiple set pieces, vehicles, and plenty of fireworks. Speaking of sets… they were incredible. From gauzy curtains lit with soft light, to an indulgent botanical garden, to the four-story finale warehouse stage, there were no dull runways in sight. Dancers and models alike used the sets constantly, rotating in formation and performance that marked the first show as so innovative.
Unfortunately, there was a damper on the event. Members of the Muslim community took offense at the lyrics in the song “Doom” that was used during the show. Rihanna issued an apology on her Instagram page and has taken actions to remove the song from the show’s playlist.
For a pandemic event, Savage engaged viewers through masterful camerawork and production that simply wouldn’t have presented the same in person. This is an unprecedented advantage that other companies and fashion houses should heed as fall and winter season releases continue! Victoria’s Secret: take notes.
By Leah Ollie, Senior, Whitney Young Magnet High School