The singer talks fashion, imaginary feuds, and finding her sound in the April issue

Rihanna is the type of woman who could make a burlap sack look sexy. In fact, we’re actually a little surprised given her predilection for out-of-the-box styling she hasn’t already tried that particular piece of DIY dressing. Much of the singer’s sex appeal seems to boil down to her abundant stores of self-confidence, as perfectly encapsulated by her ability to wear a down coat and sweatpants 5 sizes too large one day and then go braless in a sheer top while giving us all a lesson in dirty dancing the next. So, of course, when she’s put into actual couture gowns, such as on her cover for Vogue magazine’s April issue, we’re reminded yet again of the pop star’s masterful fashion chameleon-like abilities.

Credit: MertAlas and Marcus Piggott/VOGUE

Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott/VOGUE

This will be Rihanna’s fourth cover for the fashion magazine, and inexplicably, her second shot in front of a body of water. In the image the Barbadian musician wears very minimal makeup, slicked back wet hair, and a multi-colored sequin Tom Ford dress with a plunging sheer neckline. And while the images are obviously gorgeous, what’s really amazing are the quotes Rihanna gives in the interview inside, touching on topics as diverse as reinventing her musical sound, her love of high fashion, and that so-called feud between her and Beyoncé. The latter of which supposedly came about when Bey dropped her “Formation” video in the midst of her album Anti‘s ascension up the chart.

But the FENTY queen is quick to dismiss those rumors, saying, “Here’s the deal. They just get so excited to feast on something that’s negative. Something that’s competitive. Something that’s, you know, a rivalry. And that’s just not what I wake up to. Because I can only do me. And nobody else is going to be able to do that.”

Rihanna Vogue April 2016

Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott/VOGUE

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And we all know Rihanna has a special relationship to the fashion world, daring to wear more extreme, unusual, and flesh-baring looks than most celebrities who are more preoccupied about how they’ll be perceived. According to the article, “Tom Ford describes her as ‘darling, fearless, and constantly evolving.’ (Rihanna, in turn, says of Ford admiringly that he “knows how to make a woman of a bad bitch.”)

Olivier Rousteing of Balmain likens her to Michael Jackson, David Bowie, and Prince: “Whether masculine or feminine, she makes it sexy. She has this strength and modernity.”

Rihanna naked CFDA Awards


Finally, they even manage to touch upon that extremely memorable, totally sheer Swarovski-encrusted CFDA gown created by Adam Selman she wore to accept her Fashion Icon Award in 2014.

When asked about her decision to bare her soul (and more) for fashion and any regrets she may have about that look, the singer gives the most Rihanna-like response possible, saying off-handedly, “’I just liked it better without the lines underneath. Could you imagine the CFDA dress with a bra? I would slice my throat. I already wanted to, for wearing a thong that wasn’t bedazzled. That’s the only regret I have in life.’ Wearing a thong that wasn’t bedazzled is your greatest regret in life? ‘To the CFDA awards. Yes'” And with that statement, it is now everyone’s greatest regret in life.

What do you think of Rihanna’s new Vogue cover? What did you think of her iconic 2014 CFDA moment?

–Emily Kirkpatrick