Watch Rihanna and Anna Wintour Exchange Text Messages
Fashion types really love the word muse. It must be written somewhere that any serious designer must have one (if not several) of them, but more often than not, a “muse” is a woman who simply calls to mind a designer’s preexisting aesthetic. These days, she’s more likely to be an ideal customer (or a branding opportunity) rather than a font of inspiration.
Enter Rihanna. Through her individualistic, audacious, and occasionally brazen dressing decisions, she has become the rare celebrity who does not follow fashion—she affects it. “The Rihanna Effect” was how Vogue’s March cover story described the 26-year-old’s gravitational pull on the international designer community, which has greatly benefited from the jolt of her youthful rebellion. Unapologetic about her support for marijuana, continually complicating her relationship with bras, and happy to admit her love of a good wig, Rihanna upends what sophistication is supposed to look like as easily as the rest of us send an email. Or, for that matter, Tweet.
Though one of the more prolifically stalked paparazzi targets of our time, it is via social media that Rihanna communicates most directly to her public. That fan base is a group of over 35 million Twitter followers that, if you’re reading this, probably includes you (to say nothing of the legions of Instagram followers still pining for the now departed @badgirlriri).
It was fitting, then, that when Anna Wintour took that stage at Lincoln Center’s Alice Tully Hall to present Rihanna with the 2014 CFDA Fashion Icon Award earlier this evening, she did so following the imagined text message exchange above.
In antiquity, each of the nine Muses had a symbol that represented her particular domain. Calliope, muse of epic poetry, carried a writing tablet. Urania wielded a globe, for astronomy. Terpsichore, on the other hand, inspired dance with her lyre. And what of that tenth Muse, the one from Barbados? She carries a smartphone.
Photo: (in order of appearance in the video) REX USA, Splash News, AKM-GSI, Getty Images, Corbis, INFphoto.com, WireImage, WENN.com, and PacificCoastNews.com