Leave it to Rihanna to close out New York Fashion Week on a very high note: On Wednesday evening, the multi-hyphenate threw a Savage x Fenty lingerie spectacular with a gorgeously diverse cast of women, which included two Hadids and two scantily clad pregnant ladies.
This being the brand's first runway show, the energy was palpable from the moment guests walked into the hothouse jungle set that was created in a Brooklyn Navy Yard warehouse. Lush greenery, botanical domes, spherical cages, giant succulents and a glowing pond provided the backdrop to the collection. It almost felt like you were walking into a life-size terrarium populated by powerful women.
The sound of chirping birds signaled the start of the show, as dancers slowly trickled out in Savage X Fenty's more casual, streetwear-inspired lineup of neutral-toned cotton briefs and bralettes with pronounced logo bands. Then, as bright light filled the room, the choreography quickened, dancers leapt and pranced as more women emerged dressed in a mix of animal-printed and neon-colored intimates: There were hip-bone baring bodysuits, mesh teddies, fishnet jumpsuits, leopard lace undies, cupless satin corsets and furry day-glo boudoir slides.
The soundtrack dictated the mood. An upbeat song sent the models into a flurry of laughter and cued a girlish range of sheer undergarments and heart-shaped nipple pasties, while a more somber tune set the stage for silky, army green pajamas. Rihanna was able to create something for everyone; no easy feat, but something that the singer does very well.
Supermodels like Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid and Joan Smalls all walked, but the presentation did not champion a woefully narrow definition of beauty, as some other large lingerie spectacles are wont to do. Models came in all shapes, sizes and ethnicities; they had different hair colors, skin colors, body markings, curves and commanded the room with their own unique swagger.
Paloma Elsesser proudly showed off her body in a skimpy bustier, and Duckie Thot did the same in a royal blue transparent tulle getup. Raisa Flowers, Leomie Anderson, Carissa Pinkston, Jazzelle Zanaughtti and Indira Scot were also present in minimal garb, looking phenomenal with the help of Fenty Beauty.
The casting, which was done by Piergiorgio Del Moro, was a reminder that fashion is for all, but it was also a true celebration of womanhood and its magnificent ability to carry life. A pregnant Slick Woods and another expecting model rubbed their bellies as they pretty much bared it all: Slick wore a string thong and pasties while the other model sported a mesh negligee with orchids pinned to it.
Rihanna, clad in a clingy brown dress and tiny cat eye sunglasses, closed out the 30-minute performance with a brisk walk down the runway, saluting her fans as Elvis's "Love Me Tender" played. The musician wrapped up NYFW in true Bad Gal manner, leaving us with the sweet taste of female empowerment.
The Savage x Fenty Fall 2018 collection is available online here and at a pop-up shop in New York City with Mall of America to follow. The affordable (prices range from $13-$115) line is available in seven "nude" shades and goes up to a 44DD cup size and 3X in undies and sleepwear.
See every look from Savage x Fenty's Fall 2018 presentation in the gallery below.