London: Pop star Rihanna showed off her first fashion collection on Saturday in London, with a raunchy street-style range displayed to the sound of thumping hip-hop beats.
The Barbadian singer said it was a “dream come true” to design a line of clothes and accessories for the high street chain River Island, a range which had its worldwide first outing amid London Fashion Week and will hit the shops next month.
At the Old Sorting Office in London, the 24-year-old swapped a catwalk for a stage separated into compartments which the models moved between as hip-hop pumped out from the speakers.
The clothes on offer were street-style, with bra tops, dresses slashed to the thighs, tummy-baring tank-tops and thigh-high boots.
Rihanna came out at the end to give the designer’s traditional bow and wore a short black dress with sparking jewellery.
“I’ve wanted to design my own fashion line for a very long time,” she said beforehand. “This has been something I wanted to do ever since I started loving fashion. I got passionate about it and I just felt like every time I saw something on a rack, there was something that I would want to do to it to change it.
“And so I felt like the only way I could do that is by designing the perfect thing for me.”
She said they were “clothes for young women with young, sassy personalities”.
Meanwhile at London Fashion Week, Victoria Beckham, the Spice Girls singer-turned-designer, was on the judging panel of the International Woolmark Prize, which celebrates designs made from wool. She was joined on the panel at the ME Hotel by fellow fashion heavyweights Donatella Versace and Diane von Furstenberg.
Elsewhere, it was retro night with Mod girls, punk vibes and late 1980s ravers.
The achingly cool House of Holland took over the third floor of a car park in Soho, laid out some drab brown carpet as a catwalk and let rip the retro funk in what designer Henry Holland described as a “70s meets 90s nostalgic homage”.
London’s current ‘it’ crowd of models, actresses, singers and DJs packed the front row to view an autumn/winter collection of 1970s-style prints in oranges and greens, parkas, denim jackets and sweatshirts embellished with jewels, wool and neon zips.
Here were clubbers dressed to dance, stand outside in the cold queuing and even get up the next day and sway elegantly into a late lunch.
They might have bumped into the punk ladies of Moschino Cheap and Chic, the Italian label’s lively little sister which rocked the normally elegant ballroom at the Savoy Hotel by the River Thames.
The collection was a mix of girly pink mini-skirts, suits and dresses with black leather and multiple ear piercings; monochrome and leopard prints matched against bare legs; and towering black shoes with silver heels.
Across town, Jasper Conran maintained the retro vibe by invoking the spirit of the 1960s with straight skirts and mannish shirts reminiscent of the Mod girls but updated with a spectacular palette of oranges, pinks, reds and blues.
The shapes were simple, echoed by neat hair in low ponytails under oversized cloche hats, sheer tights and low-heeled patents, and embellished with square pockets and the occasional burst of sequins glittering in the spotlights.