Rihanna—what can’t the woman pull off? Her sartorial power is so great, so unapologetic in its outrageousness, she can make being nearly nude (you know, except for a mesh encasing made of something like 200,000-plus Swarovski crystals) the most glamorous look ever. So when you factor in actual clothing, you know to expect the wildly unexpected.
A leather jacket isn’t just a leather jacket, but a cape draped over a Princess Diana tee with cut-offs and denim chaps. She isn’t going to simply slip on a floral-print dress and call it a day. No, Rihanna’s going to layer it over a gold chain harness and style it with giant hoops and platform brogues. And for a night out? Any one of fall’s transitional jackets won’t cut it. In Rihanna’s world, a cool breeze is the perfect excuse to break out a giant fur heart-shaped Saint Laurent cape, one of the most memorable looks from Hedi Slimane’s final collection for the brand.
All of this only serves as proof that Rihanna can take any look—the trickiest, the most intimidating, the seemingly most unwearable—and make it her own. Thus, we present a runway-to-Rihanna-way study: a side-by-side comparison of her “real-world” application of fashion’s greatest hits.