It has been a hot minute since the Savage X Fenty show debuted and we’re wondering if the Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows could ever compete against that. Or at least if they continued to stay in their usual lane of exclusivity on body types, which explains why they stopped their annual fashion shows this year. Is it not a little weird that Victoria’s Secret Fashion Shows only have a specifically thin-in-all-the-right-places type of models, but sell larger sizes in their stores? How does one imagine Victoria’s Secret on a bigger person? How does that affect the person wearing it who might not fit in that unattainable body type category? Damn, this doesn’t look right. Or. I wish I looked sexier. Or. If I worked out more and ate less, I could look like her. Hence, the eating disorder epidemic stirred up within teenage girls and young women in today’s society.
Rihanna’s recent fashion show deserves an applause for representing something real; in ways that allowed the audience to relate and actively engage with. The 2019 showcase was not set up as the conventional long rectangular runway, but rather like a performance stage. It had staircases and a giant wall with windows where dancers would perform in them. The viewing experience was surreal. It was basically an unfiltered sensual musical; a Rihanna vision and that was what we truly enjoyed about it. Yes, women strutting on runways can be nice to watch, but this was on another level. Models were able to set a much more personal approach and had longer camera time compared to the usual fashion show. Not only did Rihanna showcase her pieces, she also embraced the personalities it carried with them.
The Savage X Fenty Show was not only a showcase on what would be in store for sale, but also the possibilities on who could wear them. The inclusivity of all body types, colours and unique physical attributes ultimately give the show life. This includes the LGBTQA+ community, with the special appearances of guests like Laverne Cox from Orange Is The New Black. It is the little things in brief spotlights that made the difference, like tattoos, piercings, being bald and even prosthetics. And don’t forget neon-coloured hair, statement jewelry and uncovered scars. The wild makeup and the all-female dance crew that wore lingerie with sneakers on, was absolutely mind-blowing.
Just the opening of the show itself was never before seen in the history of fashion shows. Was that even legal? Wig? Snatched. Rihanna, I cannot breathe. It is important to acknowledge the heavy hip hop influence which played a role in representation in the show. How often do you see hip hop artists perform for fashion shows? Uncensored? That together with the bold dance routines choreographed by Parris Goebel, is explosive. Fashion runways are shaking as we speak. The typical fashion show always portrays grace and elegance, almost daffodil-like, but put Rihanna in the equation and she will make it fierce. The bodies represented were not only in terms of size but also in shapes. Two people could be similar in size but be different in shape. What if you are not in the overly-glorified hourglass zone? Athletic or pear-shaped, perhaps? Butt or no butt, boobs or no boobs, the show represented it all.
Could this brand be the new Victoria’s Secret with all the rave that it deserves? Can we foresee an annual extravaganza? Savage X Fenty is reinventive and a breath of fresh air that we all need. It is a movement. Made for the female gaze, one cannot possibly disagree with the motion the brand creates. To that, we raise our glasses to an era that celebrates true diversity in women.