Best Of 2018: Rihanna Rejects The Male Gaze At Savage X Fenty

by: Lucy Jones | 6 months ago | Features

Rihanna's Savage x Fenty cast. Image source

As we prepare to say goodbye to 2018, we're looking back at some of the best moments of the year including that one time Rihanna sent a very pregnant model down the runway at her Savage x Fenty show. 

I've always felt incredibly uncomfortable in "sexy" lingerie stores. At places like Victoria's Secret, I usually end up loitering outside the store with a group of handbag-holding boyfriends while my friends shop for underwear. Everything about these stores makes me feel weird: the excessive padding and underwire, the impossibly thin and busty models, the candy pink shopping bags. This version of 'sexiness' never felt sexy to me.

For me, sexiness is all about feeling comfortable in your own skin. A supportive wire-free bra and high-waisted briefs are comfortable and comfort is liberating and liberation is sexy! That's why I'll opt for brands (like PansyNicoHaraNudeand Base Range) that design underwear for the female gaze over Victoria's Secret any day of the week. These labels make women's underwear for women, not for men.

Another lingerie label celebrating the female gaze is Rihanna's very own Savage X Fenty. The brand made its NYFW debut this week with a presentation that was all about women. A range of shapes, sizes and ethnicities were represented on the runway. There were models with visible stretch marks and cellulite, gymnasts and two heavily pregnant women. This cast proudly flaunted bodies that have never been seen on lingerie runways before.

"For so long, a single archetype for the lingerie model was shoved down our throats: white, thin, tall, long hair, hourglass figure, full breasts, flat stomach," Teen Vogue's Jessica Andrews wrote after watching the show.

"My hair doesn't hang low in messy beach waves; it coils tight into a circle, framing my face like a halo. My thighs stick together, my butt sticks out, and they both have stretch marks. Don't I deserve to wear lingerie as well? To feel attractive and alluring? I think of all the times I've been told — through ads and runway shows — that my skin, my body, my hair texture is wrong. And then here's Rihanna, affirming that this is a lingerie body, too."

The presentation itself was also unconventional. Two models crawled out of the backstage area at the beginning of the show. They were joined by a huge cast of models and non-models for an interpretive dance. During the performance, some models laughed hysterically while others pretended to cry. Slick Woods, one of the pregnant models, was in the early stages of labour while she was on the runway. Can someone please file that in the dictionary under 'badass'? 

At a time when tokenism is rife in the fashion industry, Rihanna showed us what true diversity looks like. Her weird and wonderful show celebrated all kinds of women. The collection itself is inclusive too. Savage X Fenty bras are available in 32A, 40DDD, and everything in-between. The underwear and sleepwear products also range from size XS to 3XL.

Rihanna's runway show proved that Victoria's Secret's narrow definition of sexiness is dead. If you need us, we'll be dancing on its grave in full-coverage bras and briefs.

Shop our range of female gaze-friendly underwear right here.

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