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#FENTYXPUMA: The Reviews

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Now that it's been a few days since the FENTYXPUMA SS 17 collection was shown in PaRih, the world is abuzz about our legendary fave's creations. Here's a compilation of all the reviews.

COMPLEX MAGAZINE:  What Every Celebrity Designer can learn from Rihanna and Puma.

Yesterday, Rihanna presented her Spring 2017 Fenty x Puma collection during Paris Fashion Week at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild. Models walked down the runway in silk dresses, a chinoiserie romper suit, durag-like headpieces, corsets, a parka that was trimmed in ruffles, hoodies with super long sleeves, lace up sweatpants, creeper-soled boots, and stiletto mules in white, pink, green, and lilac hues.

Unlike other celebrity fashion lines in the past, Rihanna's second collection was actually different from the first. It was also daring, though not revolutionary. Still, Rihanna has figured out the formula for what celebrity fashion lines should be: Make something that’s an extension of you. The beauty of Rihanna, and the projects she works on, is that every endeavor—music, fashion, or otherwise—is a direct reflection of her. It’s clear that she’s hands-on (the Tidal stream showed her prepping for the show and helping style models during the walkthrough) and it’s her vision that’s being executed.

Rihanna's Fenty x Puma Spring/Summer 2017 runway show  

If you’ve kept up with the singer’s style, you’d know she has worn pieces similar to what was presented during the Spring 2017 runway show (she’s a big endorser of wearing sleepwear outside of her bedroom). Perhaps that’s why it felt like both male and female models were, in some bizarre way, transformed into the singer—one male model even wore a pink crop top. They were dressed like her and walked with her attitude.

Plenty of artists have collaborated with brands and “designed” clothing lines before. But Rihanna approaches her collection differently. She didn’t just slap her name on Puma suede sneakers or a hoodie. She signed a deal with Puma in 2014 that clearly gave her creative input, and designed two full collections that are quite a leap from what the sportswear brand is accustomed to— and were still true to herself and her sense of style. Wearing a piece of Fenty x Puma is like owning a piece of Rihanna. And isn’t that the point?

 

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Business Insider: Rihanna is trying to change how we think about Gym Clothes!

If Marie Antoinette were to go to the gym, she might look like Rihanna's new fashion line, Fenty x Puma.

At least, that's how the pop megastar described her designs to The New York Times during the line's debut in Paris.

Partnering with Puma, the German sportswear giant, Rihanna created a couture collection full of frilly parkas, satin baseball caps, and lace bandeaus under jumpsuits.

The line's decadent aesthetic exudes Rihanna's style, but it's a new look for the athleisure industry.

Athleisure — athletic clothing that people can wear outside the gym — has gained popularity in recent years with successful brands like Lululemon and Yogasmoga. Beyoncé and Selena Gomez have also launched their own athleisure lines.

Rihanna's collection takes athleisure one step further, turning gym clothing into high fashion and rethinking the way we design sportswear.

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GQ Magazine:  Rihanna Thinks Men Would Look Dope in Pink Satin Boiler Suits.

Rihanna’s women’s runway show for Puma, staged in Paris yesterday, was by most accounts totally lit. The collection’s inspiration was “Marie Antoinette goes to the gym,” and it won praise for feeling in step with today’s athleisure and streetwear influences, without being the same old oversized-hoodie trick. Plus, it was authentic. Rihanna’s unique mix of decadence and glamour and down-to-earth tomboy cool was perfectly captured in the clothes. Given that Fenty Puma by Rihanna has been selling like hot cakes since it first launched in stores, we have faith that the offering will also make Puma some money as well.

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Now, all that said, the menswear lineup is not quite as easy to wrap up in a satin bow. The half-dozen men’s looks (technically, they’re billed as unisex) included a pink brocade boiler suit and a lilac tunic-length anorak with matching lilac pants. Accessories ranged from a lace do-rag to a giant pearl choker and purple satin sneakers affixed with a bow on top. These are editorial clothes, for fashion enthusiasts—male or female—and, truth be told, some may not even end up in stores.

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Look a little bit closer, though, and you'll find there were a few men’s buys that will have a much broader draw IRL. An army green hoodie with floral embroidery, a blue brocade bomber jacket, and a white techy anorak will appeal to leagues of dudes (and girls, too) who commit to the athleisure look, no matter what season it is. And we wouldn’t be surprised if the brand squeezes out some sweats and T-shirts in cool pastel colors to round things out on shelves. In other words, yeah, we might line up.

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MTV: Rihanna's latest fashion show was fit for a Queen.

When we found out that Rihanna would be showing her latest Puma collaboration in Paris, we knew we were in for a sweet treat, and Wednesday afternoon (September 28), our bad gal came through

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The collection was markedly different from her work last season — for Fall/Winter 2016 she leaned heavily on the "goth" side of healthgoth aesthetics, the kind of angsty athleisure beloved by misunderstood teens. For Spring/Summer 2017, Rihanna looked to another misunderstood teen with an excellent (if misguided) sense of style: Marie Antoinette, a woman who really knew how to dress like a sentient macaroon. She took her designer's bow dressed in a pink suit with laser-cut flowers and scalloped edges, waving a delicate fan printed with the Puma logo, very royal.

Everything was silk, satin, and a little fucked-up. Deconstructed edges, washed-out pastel tones, and the constant presence of corset lacing made all the sweatpants and sweatshirts look less like something you'd sweat in and more like something you'd wear before collapsing on an antique chaise lounge. Riri, c'est chic, non?

Refinery29: You Have to See the spring version of  Rihanna's sellout Puma Shoes

Anything Rihanna touches will be surrounded with buzz. It's true of her constantly sold-outPuma shoes, and it's also applicable to the runway component of her Fenty line. Just when we thought she couldn't up the ante on her inaugural New York Fashion Week runway show (with two Hadids, one Anna Wintour in the audience, and many different kinds of sneaker boots), Bad Gal packed up the show and shipped it to Paris. French Fenty does have one of the mainstays of the line we know, love, and shop relentlessly on drop days: The new range of shoes are fire. 

Rihanna's spring '17 Fenty presentation took place at the very swanky Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild — a popular venue for fashion events in Paris, hosting Valentino Haute Couture shows and Kenzo parties in past seasons. Jay Z's own bubbly flowed freely during the latest Fenty showing. (Only the best for Rih.) The whole setup was inspired by old-school Paris Fashion Week shows, which were very intimate in nature: "It’s going to be a very salon-style show — very French — and that idea was inspired by those old Christian Dior shows from back in the day, when he would show in a small room," she explained to Voguebackstage. 

That was the only main difference between the first and second Fenty drops: This time around, Rihanna hosted not one but twopresentations, back to back — each with slight variations in looks, and a different Fenty outfit for the designer to wear for her final bow. A number of models — Jourdan Dunn! Doutzen Kroes! Sara Sampaio! — were there to take in the aristocracy athleisure-fied collection; as well as industry insiders, including designers Adam Selman and Virgil Abloh, and influencers like Chiara Ferragni. The catwalk was equally buzzy, with Imaan Hammam opening both shows, and Anwar Hadid taking his sophomore walk down the runway alongside fan favorites Adwoa Aboah, Dilone, and Taylor Hill.

The designer summed up the collection with this brilliantly specific description: "If Marie Antoinette was going to the gym and needed something to wear." It may sound niche, but it's pretty much the most appropriate way to describe Fenty's latest ready-to-wear. Each presentation features five color stories — pink, green, white, nude, and purple (with variations on the nude-hued looks between presentations) — featuring sweatpants with corsets, hoodies with pearls, lace do-rags, and Puma-branded fans. "It’s super-regal and a perfect mix of street- and sportswear," Rihanna told Vogue, adding that the soundtrack chosen to accompany the collection was a combination of violins and trap beats for that very reason. 

Unsurprisingly, considering this is a Puma production, the stand-outs were the shoes. Whereas fall was heavy on the boots, Rihanna's spring will involve even more deft grate-dodging in stilettos. Puma's classic lace-up sneakers were transformed into pointed-toe, skinny-heeled mules; slingback heels; and thick gum-soled platforms (but with the eye row and signature stripe intact). Oh, and next season's slides? The furry strap has been replaced by an oversized satin bow. 

Hey, this genre of aristocratic athleisure footwear could have a pretty commercial outcome, given Rihanna's track record at Puma. Although, while her first few Fenty styles ring in under $150, her catwalk pieces are a little pricier: Fall '16 platform boots go for $325,booties retail for $600, and over-the-knee shoes cap out at $750. One thing's for certain, though — you've never seen Puma Suedes like these before.
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Financial Times: Fenty by Rihanna for Puma SS17 Show Report: Paris Fashion Week.

Rihanna unveiled the second Fenty by Rihanna for Puma SS17 show report: Paris Fashion Weekcollection of Fenty, the fashion line she designs in collaboration with Puma, within the chandeliered interiors of the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, in Paris, on Tuesday night. She launched the first collection in New York in February, but whereas that was dark and urban and monochrome this second season was as pink and sugary as fondant icing, and frequently very frilly. 

Like Kanye West, the 28-year-old singer songwriter has realised a massive market opportunity by developing her own brand of “swag”. West’s early collaboration with Adidas gave rise to the phenomenally successful (and now independent) Yeezy brand. Yeezy now dominates the fashion seasons, not for the clothes — pleasantly anodyne khaki T-shirts, flesh-coloured bodysuits and street-savvy sweats — but for the sheer weight of its presence. Yeezy has become the biggest, the most searched, the most followed fashion show in the world. Few can contend with it. But Rihanna can.

Rihanna is a world-famous star with 44.4m Instagram followers and 66m on Twitter. (Puma, incidentally has 1.5m Twitter followers, which pitches it alongside Dannii Minogue in terms of popular influence.) She already has a highly lucrative brand contract with Dior but her off-duty look is deliberately inelegant. As a fashion presence, Rihanna occupies the street as the wild-child populist — all expletives, sneaker wearing, middle-finger stabbing rebellion — while still maintaining a comfortable tenancy in the penthouse suite of privilege; she’s appeared on two Vogue covers already this year. This collaboration may not yet be on the level of Yeezy’s but if the crowds thronging around the crash barriers outside the venue, or the excitability of those inside the building, were anything to go by, he’d better watch out. The price points are also considerably sweeter.

Fenty’s look is certainly more directional than Yeezy’s. Rihanna was never going to offer up an ordinary tee. The looks were a hybrid of sweatshirting, lingerie, army fatigues and baroque detailing; a brocade boiler suit was unzipped and slung around the waist; T-shirts were cinched with lace-up corset belts, khaki overalls were severed and strapped together with suspended ties at the thigh, and many of the looks were shrouded in enormous, lightweight nylon parkas that billowed around the models like monks’ robes.

Sexier details were tempered to seem more street: a slip dress grafted on to a sweatshirt; a garter hidden under the hem of an oversized hoodie. The models included men and women, though the gender delineations were moot: men wore lacy cami tops with their tracksuits and everyone wore jewellery: faux pearls were slung around the neck, pierced through the lower lip or stuffed inside the ear. They pinched paste diamond rings between their teeth, to look like metal grilles. There were caps and lace bandannas, too. Rihanna’s look is partly to dissemble — now everyone can hide under her hats and hoodies and act like a persecuted rap star.

At so many luxury houses the conversation is now focused on attitude and storytelling: inhabiting a persona, being who you want to be. A lot of people want to be Rihanna. Now they can be. The singer took to the stage in a swath of brown sweatshirting — looking like a Capuchin punk. At an earlier show she wore pink Marie Antoinette laces and carried a fan. The audience roared. It wasn’t chic. It wasn’t sophisticated. You may not like it: but this is most likely the future of fashion.a4fcf2aa-862f-11e6-a29c-6e7d9515ad15?sou

ELLE Magazine

The fashion industry is justifiably wary of celebrity fashion collaborations. More often than not, they're over-hyped and under-done. Sometimes, they're just a drag. Ask any of the editors who attended Kanye's five-hour Yeezy x Adidas extravaganza in NYC a few weeks ago. Not so with Rihanna.

For her second collection with Puma, FentyxPuma, Rihanna upped the ante: while she presented her debut collection with Puma in NYC, for spring/summer 2017 she took it to Paris, the home of serious fashion. And she chose a serious venue—the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, which has previously been used by the likes of Valentino (for their couture shows) and Yves Saint Laurent (back in the Stefano Pilati days).

The stakes were high, but Rihanna managed to clear the very high bar she'd set for herself.

The collection—a pastel (mostly baby pink) array of sweats and parkas and hoodies inset with lace and corsetry and pearls and other assorted lingerie details—felt deeply personal (the customer who wants to buy into Rihanna will certainly get that) and fresh. Rihanna described the collection to Vanessa Friedman at the New York Times as "If Marie Antoinette were going to the gym and needed something to wear."

She expanded in a press release, "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," said Creative Director Rihanna. "Mixing athletic wear with regal touches was a challenge and I hope everyone loves the results. I cannot wait to wear this collection."

A smart merchandiser, Rihanna has plenty of covetable accessories to offer her die-hard fans (aka The Navy): baseball caps with corset ties, shower shoes with oversized pink silk bows, lace-up mules with a puma stripe, and frilly gym bags in pink and army green. (Remember that Rihanna's other big collaboration, with MAC, yielded a best-selling lipstick in RiRi Woo.)

The styling, by Tom Van Dorpe, was as cool as Rihanna: both the female and very muscular male models (hi) wore lacey camisoles, durags made of floral silks and broderie anglaise, and baggy sweat pants.

After the show, guests milled around, sipping on glasses of wine and champagne (Rihanna's favorite accessory). I stopped her mom, Monica Braithwaite, to ask her what she thought. "It brings out the creativity that Rih has and it's a good platform to motivate as well as inspire," she told me. "It was a really good show." Agreed. gallery-1475148916-gettyimages-611143206.jpg

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Washington Post: Rihanna actually took fashion to a new place. It was kind of crazy — but not bad

Rihanna showed her Fenty collection here. Because she can. Because she is Rihanna. But also because Fenty is a collaboration with Puma, and Puma is owned by Kering, and Kering is a French luxury conglomerate.

So the show was located at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, a mighty fine residence once owned by the French banking branch of the Rothschild family that now hosts various art and cultural events, including haute couture shows. At the entry, French police offers kept a large crowd of fans at bay and personally inspected invitations of arriving guests.

There were waiters pouring champagne from giant Nebuchadnezzar-size bottles. And an enormous crystal chandelier was lying on its side on the floor — like detritus from a marathon bacchanal.

The collection was a blend of elaborate corsetry and athletic gear — sweatpants, hoodies, stadium coats — all shown on both men and women. It was a fashion gene-splicing, a mashup that was amusing, baffling, awkward and cool. The platform sneakers were cool. So were the corsets paired with sweatpants. It’s hard to conjure up something new in fashion, but if anyone can recall another moment you’d describe as Marie Antoinette-meets-the-WNBA, get thee to Instagram lickety-split.

In the presentation, Rihanna embraced the current affection for blurring gender lines. She didn’t really add anything to that conversation, but sometimes it’s fine to just nod in agreement.

The color palette included white and a dusty mauve-ish hue of lilac. But it was dominated by pink and green — a combination that speaks of elementary school, “The Preppy Handbook” and Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority. The pink heightened the effect of the boudoir references. The green called to mind camouflage and military toughness. But together they had a discordant relationship, and the sum total was worse than the individual parts.

Watching Rihanna move Fenty from a brand hyping old-school hip hop references in the Big Apple to a brand riffing on 18th century corsetry in the City of Light is a bit like watching a novice driver take the wheel of the family sedan and try to merge onto a race track. Winning isn’t even part of the conversation. Just managing not to roll over and crash would be cause for celebration.

Rihanna is one in a long line of stylish celebrities who have tried their hand at a fashion label. God bless each one of them, from Jennifer Lopez and Justin Timberlake to Jessica Simpson and, of course, Kanye West. Rihanna is smart to jump into the fashion game with the safety net and deep pockets of Puma. She is wise enough to keep her shows focused on the clothes and confident enough to allow her audience to get close enough to actually see them — their sharp construction, their easy flow, their quality.

Rihanna could have settled in for a long and prosperous fashion career churning out little more than a new set of creepers and kooky slides every season Instead, she came to Paris.

And she didn’t crash.

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VOGUE: 

As one of the biggest pop stars on the planet, Rihanna isn’t a woman who is easily impressed. And yet, there is something about Paris that has her starstruck. It’s partly why she chose to show her newFenty x Puma collection at the Hôtel Salomon de Rothschild, a stately 19th-century mansion in the Eighth Arrondissement of the city, today. You’d have to travel about 45 minutes west to hit the starting point for her inspiration: the Palace of Versailles. It’s in those gilded hallways, once inhabited by Marie Antoinette, that Rihanna shot her campaign for Dior back in 2015. Like many visitors to the grounds, Rihanna left feeling completely enchanted by the place and the extravagant lifestyle of France’s last queen prior to the Revolution.

Rihanna filtered those regal, 18th-century references through a thoroughly modern lens for Spring 2017. As the singer put it, these were clothes that Marie Antoinette might wear in a parallel universe, where state-of-the-art gyms and whale-boned corsets lived side by side. There was plenty of corsetry thrown into the mix in the same opposites-attract way that the singer styles herself in real life—sometimes it whittled the waist of a baggy brocade boilersuit; other times it bound the sides of skintight flared track pants. When it comes to street style, Rihanna is an expert shape-shifter, and is constantly toying with proportions at both ends of the spectrum: She’ll happily step out in an amorphous tracksuit one moment, then turn up with a sexy body-skimming slip the next. After the overtly gothic beat of last season, the new collection spoke to that alluring duality of her style in much softer, coquettish tones—think: pale pink lace gym shorts, pale pink sheer anoraks covered in ruffles and worn with matching pink killer heels; pink baseball caps tied up in ribbons and pink peplum hoodies. Cast your mind back to Rihanna’s VMA performance, and you might remember the pretty pink subversive costumes with which she chose to open the show.

She struck the same tension between tender and tough with her menswear pieces, including a floral brocade boilersuit that was draped off the shoulder of one bleach-blond male model. Hitting that gender-neutral sweet spot with convincing streetwise attitude—think: a do-rag fashioned from lilac lace and jumbo pearl necklaces in place of traditional gold dookie chains—isn’t easy, but it’s something that comes as second nature to Rihanna, who confidently flirts with all aspects of a cool guy’s wardrobe. And after her best-selling unisex Puma creepers, there was a whole new shoe wardrobe to play with that ran the gamut from delicate pointed mules to full-on platform stomper boots.

Sometimes when a famous person tries his or her hand at another discipline, the results can be uneven. Trusting a real-estate developer with, say, the future of a country sounds like a dubious proposition even in hypothetical terms. And yet there are those special cases when making the switch leads to a good surprise. When it comes to fashion, Victoria Beckham and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen have certainly proved their worth. Judging by the collection she showed today, we can add Rihanna to that list.

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