Showing at London Fashion Week was not something that Rihanna nor her River Island co-designer, Adam Selman, took lightly. On Saturday night, she unveiled her debut collection for the high street brand.
“Obviously, it is a huge honour to be able to show at LFW alongside some of the fashion greats,” Selman told Vogue. “London has such amazing support for original ideas and concepts, especially in art and fashion. Since the show didn’t start out meaning to be a full fashion show, I’ve tried not to stress myself any more than I have. I’ve been trying to take it all in stride and enjoy the whole process instead of getting lost in it.”
Selman – who works with the singer on her tour costumes, including her 2012 Victoria’s Secret outfit – has been developing the collection since June last year. He maintains that, unlike many celebrity-fashion collaborations, Rihanna has been “heavily involved” in designing the line. The pair emailed and called each other frequently in the early stages of the project and the star has been present for all recent fittings.
“This collection is very based upon Ri’s style and her mood – so it’s evolved a lot,” said Selman. “There were things that she couldn’t find in the shops – for example simple, black, beautiful dresses, so she created her own. She was really interested in how things sit on the models and how they’re cut. This all comes from her – it’s very personal. She’s at the top of her game right now in terms of her career and in herself. She’s in a really good place.”
Selman describes the collection as “urban-inspired, unfussy with a hint of uptown” and is targeted at “cool hip girls who aren’t super thin”. He admitted that the pair did have a few differences when working together – something he believes improved the overall results.
“There were times when I said to her, ‘Ri you’ve got trust me on this.’ Then she’d put her foot down and I’d have to let it go,” he said. “Other times, she’d go with me. You can’t always change or read someone’s mind. A little tension is good though. We made a good team – there was never any shouting or screaming.”
Selman and Rihanna will soon start work on their next collection for River Island – this time for autumn/winter 2013-14.
“I’m looking forward to getting into it fully,” he said. “This is just the beginning of Rihanna’s design career.”