No matter your shape, size or physical ability, sexiness can be achieved. It’s a mantra retail corporations have pushed but with Rihanna’s Savage x Fenty Show in New York this week, it was a smoldering reality.
On Tuesday (Sept. 10) Brooklyn’s Barclays Center was flipped into the entertainers’ lair filled with 32 flavors of what womxn really look like. Thick thighs, ambassadors of the #littlebootiesmatter movement and members of the LGBTQ+ community sashayed across the stage in a confident spirit only Rihanna can conjure.
The second annual show took their talents to a new level by partnering with Amazon Prime to film the show. Cameramen jumped to the stage every now and then to catch models like Joan Smalls, Bella Hadid and performers Halsey, Big Sean and Tierra Whack. But the theatrics also matched the energy the models exuded–dominant, sweet, flirty and most of all assertive. It’s a behavior assumed to be behind closed dungeon doors and for women who keep up Eurocentric beauty standards.
With Savage x Fenty, those stereotypes are thrown out the window. The brand has done well in that market. It’s why it makes it the perfect segway into the next generation of lingerie brands. Critics have used their most witty phrases to compare the event to Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show but as fans will see Sept. 20, nothing is like Savage x Fenty.
Their mission of inclusion didn’t stop at the beautiful bodies and negligees on stage. The music paid homage to the hot girls we’ve loved before (Tweet, Eve) as well as dancehall riddims and Latinx house music.
As Rihanna continues to dominate the fashion/beauty industry (her LVMH collab, Fenty Beauty) the Savage x Fenty show will be just one of the many moments in fashion history we’ll revisit.
Before the big reveal next week, see how it all went down from inside the event below.
7:35 pm: The Dean Street entrance to Barclays Center looks like the outside of a club. There are models, rappers and fans who printed out fake barcodes to get in. After a few minutes of starting at the “Standing Line” section, I realize I’m in the wrong line.
7:40 pm: Doors aren’t opening until 8:00 pm, so I get to enjoy some fresh air while checking out influencers wrapped in glitter and baby doll lingerie. Perhaps it shows what’s to come this evening.
8:00 pm: The doors have officially opened. Like noted in the email, phones were placed into uber-secure YONDR pouches. I’m not mad at it all. With Amazon filming the show, it’s only right that the audience is immersed in the experience.
8:13 pm: Sections aren’t open yet but the red carpet is. Hip-hop is in the building (early) thanks to Migos, Big Sean and newcomer CHIKA.
8:16 pm: Some guests are starting to look uneasy without their phones. I’m so glad watches are still a thing–shouts to Casio, specifically A$AP Ferg’s collaboration design I rocked.
8:23 pm: In the bathroom and a favorable viral group comes in with plenty to say. “It’s funny how celebrities act like they don’t nobody but they see everybody. Like, I know you see me.” I feel you sis.
8:40 pm: Was asked to say hello to Rihanna on her Savage x Fenty Insta and totally fumbled it.
I let Rihanna down.
8:54 pm: We’re finally able to enter the show. The stage set up is a perfect combination of MC Escher stairs and gloomy Roman windows with a minimalistic twist.
Spotted: Bronx rapper Maliibu Miitch in a cozy fur, country star Kasey Musgraves in a perfect green fit, Chanel Iman and Ashley Graham with their mom glow as well as R&B duo LionBabe.
9:10 pm: There’s a lady with a very big feathery hat sitting below me, she smells good.
9:20 pm: Wow, it’s Dascha Polanco.
9:45 pm: Now that we’re all seated, the DJ slows down the tunes and lights turn down low. It’s starting.
9:46 pm: Rihanna is front and center as ten dancers of all sizes flex (and look comfy) in black lingerie. The choreography is on point. The ladies are busting out their best bruk wine to the audience’s delight.
9:47 pm: The Savage looks are separated by color. Plenty of dancers and influencers hit the experimental runway. Bella Hadid looks too cute as she waves at the camera.
9:49 pm: Big Sean comes out (with his abs) and performs “Clique” before jumping into “Bezerk” with A$AP Ferg.
9:51: Blue and yellow bring us into the next phase of the show, paired with a sexy deep mix of Tweet’s “Oops (Oh My).” Cara Delevingne gets everyone in line and I love it.
9:54 pm: Red is the vibe and 21 Savage looks so happy in his blue steel walk. Women dominate the stage with accessories but one can help but appreciate how inclusive the show is. Short, tall, curvy, petite and people with disabilities are owning the stage.
9:56 pm: Laverne Cox came out of nowhere and just bodied her walk! It’s a moment fans will truly adore. Tens across the board.
9:57 pm: Migos perform “Pure Water”… in pure water. The pool is small and the guys seem to be unbothered by it. Shouts to their socks.
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10:03 pm: My handwriting goes to s**t once Normani takes the stage. Her moment makes me feel at ease about copping the new collection.
10:06 pm: I’d like to give props to the musical director. The blend of Wiley’s “Boasty” and Eve’s “Who’s The Girl” is giving me life.
10:11 pm: It’s time for another performance! DJ Khaled, Fat Joe, Fabolous take the stage but as predicted, Tierra Whack shines the brightest.
10:18 pm: Lace caps, sheer pants are the move in the lingerie game and I’m with it.
10:20 pm: Queen Rihanna comes out to a standing ovation. If she didn’t walk away, I’m sure we would have clapped all night.
Spotted on the way out: Dave East, Mack Wilds, VIBE cover stars Naturi Houghton and Lala Anthony, Rapsody, Misa Hylton, Monica, Kehlani (who photographers couldn’t get enough of) and actor Jharrel Jerome.