Are Rihanna’s barely-there pregnancy outfits really ‘trendsetting’?





“It’s winter in Paris! Isn’t she cold?” My thoughts exactly, dear Instagram user who commented under a photo of Rihanna’s latest pregnancy “outfit” last night. Rihanna’s sartorial looks have been the talk of the town at fashion weeks, culminating in her appearance this week at Paris Fashion Week, where she wore lingerie to the Dior show. The sheer, knee-skimming, lace-cupped babydoll negligee was paired with stringy black panties (some reports describe it as a thong), leather boots and a trench that covered the singer from behind.

Ever since Rihanna revealed her bare baby bump bordered by a vintage pink Chanel coat, the media has been going gaga over her pregnancy style. That particular ensemble went down in the books as an iconic celebrity pregnancy announcement, and I dare say it might inspire one of this year’s millennial Halloween party costumes – it’s certainly the forerunner for my own trick-or-treating plans.

While she may have been hiding her growing bump prior to her big pregnancy reveal, Rihanna has been putting it on full display ever since, and each outfit she wears is making headlines. Earlier last week at the Gucci show in Milan, Rihanna donned a lace and latex cropped top, and in the weeks prior, she sported a black, open-front, lace-up Jean Paul Gaultier design and front-tie top from Fendi that left little to the imagination.

“Never have I ever been so invested in seeing how a celebrity’s bump is dressed,” reads Grace UK’s Instagram caption of Rihanna’s latest underwear-as-outerwear ensemble, while The Cut‘s Instagram post calls it “the best dressed baby bump in fashion right now.”

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If you ask me, you can hardly call Rihanna’s bump “dressed” at all. Most of her ella pregnancy outfits — at least, the ones that are going viral on social media — feature her bump de ella in its full naked glory, but with little actual clothing surrounding it. Sometimes, just handful of necklaces sit on her growing belly. The Cut went on to describe the star’s pregnancy style as “trendsetting”.

But is Rihanna truly trendsetting with this courageous yet scantily-clothed approach to maternity style? Will women who don’t have superstar fashionista status — I mean regular, average women — be afforded the same privilege to flaunt their pregnancies with uncovered stomachs, in real life? Do they even want to? Celebrities may flaunt daring, avant-garde outfits to fashion weeks, and Instagram models may post them on social media, but if Rihanna was truly “trendsetting”, then these styles shouldn’t — and the ideals they embody — trickle down to your average women?

People has deemed the star’s fashion week looks “epic” and fashion described her pregnancy style as a “celebration of body positivity and individuality.” And while these accolades may ring true, it’s important to recognize that Rihanna is a performer, and these are performance outfits, with fashion week being her current stage.

Though I can’t say the singer’s recent outfits are at all personally relatable to me, I must admit that I, too, found myself reluctantly in love with her first pink-coated pregnancy reveal. It was an empowering, creative, festive and refreshingly feminine way of modernizing the traditional celebrity pregnancy announcement, and it captured the hearts of her fans all over the world — myself included. While her recent outfits of choice may not be my cup of tea, I’m happy to see Rihanna embracing motherhood wholeheartedly and passionately. She’s commemorating this chapter of her life de ella with edgy and experimental style choices, refusing to have anything to do with the often drab, matronly maternity offerings in stores that are far from trend-driven. Nonetheless, she claims that she is completely “reinventing” pregnancy style sound a little exaggerated to me.

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For my first pregnancy, I opted for loose, empire-waist dresses and oversized T-shirts — nothing that really accentuated the bump, more the opposite. The most daring item in my closet was a simple pair of faux leather leggings with an extra-stretchy waist.

Now, with Rihanna making maternity fashion buzzier than ever before, I spot a maternity-themed press release from Pretty Little Thing at the top of my inbox. I click the link, and find myself surprisingly drawn to the feminine, figure-hugging, flattering and fashion-forward maternity styles on offer — many that still offer coverage, and err on the side of “elegant” rather than “sexy”, though are still styles that I imagine would get a nod of approval from the cast of Euphoria.

Unlike Rihanna, my lifestyle doesn’t allow for splurges from Chanel and Dior, and in anticipation of any future pregnancy, I’m already bookmarking potential buys while browsing the 676 stylish maternity styles available on this website. Is it “the Rihanna effect,” albeit in a diluted dose, or simply my own evolved fashion sense? I’d like to hope it’s the latter, but in this era of digital influencing, it’s hard to say for sure.




www.independent.co.uk

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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