Athleisure Gets Deliciously Royal

All hail Queen Riri and the latest Fenty X Puma collection, which remixes French opulence with modern street style.

Fashion has always enjoyed a longstanding love affair with France’s Palace of Versailles. Built during King Louis XIV’s reign, this stunning example of Baroque architecture has become an infinite fount of inspiration, and served a background for many ad campaigns. It’s therefore no surprise that the palace also served as the starting point for Rihanna and her latest spring summer Fenty X Puma collection.

The singer/songwriter turned fashion designer took inspiration from 18th century France, in all of its decadent glory. The collection was displayed in an intimate setting in the majestic space of Hotel Saloman de Rothschild, located in Paris’ 8th arrondissement.

Rihanna explains: “I am really excited about this collection as its very fun and light. Showing in Paris was the perfect backdrop as I pulled a lot of inspiration from France, Marie Antoinette and The Palace of Versailles specifically. Mixing athletic wear with regal touches was a challenge and I hope everyone loves the results. I cannot wait to wear this collection.”

True to Riri’s style, Fenty X Puma reinterpreted the palace through a modern, street style lens. The collection was a celebration of the kind of sportswear you’d want to wear, though probably not to actually play sports in. The strength was in the unlikely contrasts, such as the baggy olive tracksuit with racy corset lacing, a white translucent rain jacket with ruffle details that skimmed the floor, and a long-sleeved mesh bustier that cropped to expose the midriff.

For the silhouette, Rihanna managed to pull from a variety of spectrums. There were the ridiculously over-sized hoodies and track jackets that felt more amorphous and androgynous. Contrast this with the skimpy floral jumpsuits and pink short shorts, which left little to the viewer’s imagination. All of this came in the form of a colour palette of feminine fierceness– princess pink, army olive and rosy brown.

From April 13th, Fenty X Puma collection will be presented at Pedder on Scotts with an exclusive installation, covering the brand’s most coveted and complete ready-to-wear collection. In addition, the brand also has an exclusive mule heel in rose and beige.

Whilst the fashion roadside is littered with celebrities who have failed to transition successfully into fashion designers, Rihanna has shown it is possible. Her Puma stint, now lasting just two years, has gained consistently positive reviews. Alongside other well-respected names such as Victoria Beckham and the Olsen twins, the music and style icon is showing her versatility outside of the music industry. This should come as no surprise, of course, given her impressive background collaborating with MAC, Gucci, Balmain and Giorgio Armani.

In short, anything the icon touches manages to balance fashion, music and sports in a boldly independent and effortless style. If anything, it comes from her attitude, which manages to pull together unlikely pieces and ideas to great effect. It’s a style where more is more, bad and good taste intermingle, and most importantly, confidence is the best accessory.

By: Daniel Kong