So, now that images of the full range are available on the River Island website, the build up to Rihanna’s long awaited clothing range is essentially over. In a recent promo video Rihanna stated, “The theme throughout the entire collection was easy, laidback chick. Flirty. Not very conservative, but I think anyone can wear this line,” adding that, “It’s not costumey and it’s not too sexy – it’s just very simple, very laidback.” I agree with her that the range is laidback and simple. However, I disagree that it’s flirty and suitable to be worn by anyone.
What struck me almost instantly about the range is that there’s such a lack of imagination; the colours are dull, the shapes are boring and the majority of the pieces lack any sort of noteworthiness. I expected more colour, more prints and more accessories, but apart from the few yellow items and the two accessories, the range lacks all of these. I find it all a bit reminiscent of bad 90s grunge, especially the skirts and dresses with the wrap-around-the-waist sleeves and the baggy denim jeans. On top of this there are also some pieces that stand out for all the wrong reasons, the denim jumpsuit, varsity jackets and knee high boots to name a few. Although I am really disappointed with the line, I will point out that one or two of the pieces are bang on trend for this season. For example, the slit skirt and the slit maxi. Therefore, with some of the pieces being trend-worthy, it’s even more disappointing that the fabric used to create these items is so unfortunately cheap. The plain vests, for example, look like something you could pick up in New Look for £7.99- where’s the celebrity influence?! The cheapness of the fabric will undoubtedly make it difficult for anyone bigger than a size 10 to wear the pieces, thus making the range exclusive in terms of buyer. The fabric is so disappointing that it begs the question: has anyone put any thought into this range? Moving away from the fabric I could go on to say that the shoes are ok in terms of current trend/style – yet, disappointingly, they are all remarkably similar to styles already out, demonstrating an entire lack of uniqueness or imagination.
Overall, I’m struggling to see Rihanna’s personality within the range. Where’s the fun, bold, playful pop star? Apart from the black, the stripes and the bad denim, I fail to see where Rihanna has had any sort of influence over the range. Either she’s had little or no influence or, in reality, she actually can’t dress herself and that when left on her own this is how far her imagination can stretch in terms of fashion. Which will be the memorable pieces? Which the most sought after? When a celebrity creates a range for a High Street store it’s usually pretty easy to pin point which pieces will sell out the fastest and which ones will be the most remembered (think Kate Moss’s first range for Topshop). But, with this range I’m finding it difficult to see any stand-out pieces or anything remotely new or special. Behind all the hype there’s nothing there except some plain looking t-shirts with a celebrity label. The only celebrity influence on the entire range will be the price tag. What a let down.