Rihanna’s Runway Show
by Cooper O’Neil
On October 2, 2020, Rihanna’s Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 was aired on Amazon Prime. The show was filmed at the Los Angeles Convention Center in September.
Rihanna said in an interview with The Cut that she wanted to make the show as, “visually enticing as possible.” She also stated that she wanted to present “complete extreme levels of inclusivity,” with every body type, gender identity, age, sexuality, and skin tone representation. Bella Hadid, Lizzo, Normani, Demi Moore, Willow Smith, Cara Delevingne are a few of the notable names included in the show worth watching.
The show opens up to three words being said: “Skin … Touch … Feel …” Parris Goebel, a choreographer who worked on last year’s show, opens with a spotlight down upon herself. Rihanna told The Cut that she loves how Goebel makes everything sexy, despite society’s views on what sexy looks like. She also told them that Parris gives her hope. The effect that Goebel tries to convey is power and confidence. She deliberately highlights the ways a body can naturally bounce, move, and flex. Rihanna made her lingerie the way she did so that the dancers could easily move around in it and feel comfortably supported.
The show seemed to be more serious based on the various types of black lingerie, fishnets stockings, and mullet haircuts in the first section of the show. Rihanna said that she wanted the mood of this moment particularly to be more somber and sultry. Stars such as Indya Moore, Bella Hadid, Demi Moore and others were featured during that first section. Demi Moore spoke about feeling a bit nervous when doing her performance, but that the support of the cast made her feel comfortable. She also talked about how she found the love and support from the cast to be the most incredible thing.
Lizzo was one of the appearances to make a lasting impression. The way she danced, you could definitely tell she felt comfortable in her own skin. Taking center stage in blue-themed lingerie she danced to D’Angelo’s “Brown Sugar”. The theme then switches to a Garden of Eden-type set. Performers then danced to Frank Ocean’s “Self Control,” while Rihanna arose from a flower looking stunning.
The last part of the show takes place in a neon colored factory. This part of the show features most of the menswear, after Rihanna stated that she received so many requests for a men’s line. Willow Smith, alongside Paris Hilton, Rico Nasty and others, make appearances looking ever so fabulous. Rihanna did one last strut before joining everyone, to a thunderous round of applause. To close out, Travis Scott does a bonus performance just before the credits roll.
A week after the show aired, there was some backlash and criticism for the use of sacred Islamic text included in one of the songs. A Hadith was included in a song Rihanna used for her show. In Islamic faith a Hadith is a record of the Prophet Muhammad. Rihanna therefore addressed the issue over a direct statement on Instagram. In the statement she first started by thanking the Muslim community for pointing out the issue and addressing it. She then took to Instagram to apologize for using a song that included that word.
The London producer and singer Coucou Chloe was the one who included the dance track for the lingerie performances. She stated that it was also unintentionally put in the show and that it was a careless and honest mistake. She also took to Twitter to apologize and explain why she used samples from Baile Tracks that she found online. She said she was not aware they were samples used in texts from Islamic Culture.