In the world of lingerie, Victoria Secret used to be the favored brand. That was until Barbados Beauty Rihanna launched Savage Fenty three years ago. With inclusivity as her standard, Rihanna and her team of choreographers, models, dancers, influencers and designers painted a bigger picture: a brand that can give women of all shapes and sizes the comfort and representation they desire.
“Every woman deserves to feel sexy,” Rihanna said in the first Savage Fenty documentary in 2019. Fast forward three years later the fashion brand has been worn by millions of people all over the world and Rihanna is now a billionaire thanks to her foresight of cultural inclusivity.
Unlike previous shows where there was an audience to give immediate feedback, the only audience in this latest Savage Fenty Show are just us, at home, watching on Amazon Prime.
This use of drones and close-up camera angles carries each moment’s magic to life. The music, live performances, and Rihanna herself will keep you on the edge of your bedroom side chair.
The Savage Fenty Show with all its creativity, sexiness, risqué performances and diversity reminded me of an extended early 2000 BET uncut music video except this is Rihanna’s show. One does not give a review of Rihanna’s show because she just gets better and better so here is the run way run down. Most of the action takes place in a singular building, dimly lit in an urban environment with red accents as the dancers take over the different hallways, roof and open rooms.
It starts with a woman walking delicately up a stairs and Segway’s into dancers vibrating to trumpet laced salsa music, while another set of dancers carry three women high in the air. It all seems to be moving so fast yet every detail is highlighted like the black mascara on the white dancers and the perfectly manicured nails of the models. That is the Rihanna magic. Of course the show has a director but that’s underneath Rihanna’s charm which is all over the show.
When Bia enters the show in an elevator the “Whole Lotta Money” platinum singer takes things upon a bit with a smooth hip hop performance. This might be her best performance yet after snagging a remix with Nicki Minaj in July. The green Savage X Fenty Lingerie adds to her desirability.
“Yesterday’s Price Is Not Today’s Price”
Fresh off the sexy VMAs presentation with Teyana Taylor, Normani slides through on red screen and out the show in second gear. She performs Wild Side in various poses. A simple and effective music video style set that could break the bank on her OnlyFans.
Rihanna is one of the few creatives who could take a multicultural approach and still manage to clarify her identity on the runway as a black woman. The plus size models intersperse with traditional size models says Rihanna’s power is every girl’s power. Ricky Martin’s performance was welcoming but it was one of the more lukewarm moments. He shoulda performed Livin’ La Vida Loca.
The show wouldn’t have been complete without a touch of Jamaica. Reggaeton superstar Daddy Yankee performed “Metele Al Perreo” on a Sly And Robbie sampled beat. The performance happened outside on a roof with a cityscape backdrop fit for the sexy lingerie wearing models. Yankee seemed a bit overdressed for the dancer models in their unmentionables but his performance represents the latin culture.
The Busta Rhymes music segment was the zenith of the show. The dancers and lights were in sync for each song and they could be a part of the original Busta music videos that were released twenty years ago. The first part of the tribute showcases men’s sleepwear in high fashion until Rihanna enters on cue for “What’s it Gonna Be” by Busta Rhymes and Janet Jackson. The song set the tone for what we are all here to see, Rihanna, the savage in motion wearing Fenty drawls. Her sex appealing performance brought the show to the climax it deserved. The absence of dialogue in the show keeps the attention where it needs to be.
“There are no rules with designing lingerie, you can go as comfortable as you want and as sexy as you want”. Rihanna concluded in her 2019 Savage Fenty Fashion Show Vol 1.
She has stuck to that standard for Vol. 3 while improving, because at some point you forget that you are watching a lingerie fashion show and start to be so immersed in the cultural experience. In what world of fashion could one have imagined a television lingerie show with Remy Ma “look too good” playing with pregnant models on the runway?
Nas’ performance of “You Can Hate Me Now” adds another layer of masculinity to the show, but it is also a suitable message to Rihanna’s and Savage Fenty detractors, if she has any, as she dominates the fashion world. Nas sings, “Don’t hate me hate the money I see clothes that I buy..you can hate me now but I won’t stop now”.
Beyond the superficial nature of fashion shows, the Black Barbadian Billionaire beauty is here to stay in the fashion industry even as the Fenty Brand parted ways with LVMH. The show closes with Images of her ascending to the top in an elevator wearing her own lingerie with Union Bank in the background. She is now the cultural standard for black fashion enterprise.
The Savage Fenty Show Volume 3 is now streaming on Amazon Prime.