And This Is Miu Miu?

Rihanna does not need to mimick no runway look. She can, as we have been repeatedly told, wear anything she wants, however she desires, modest or not—mostly not

Rihanna, out for the night, scantily clad, again. Photo: Backgrid

In the duration of her internationally-viewed-and-followed pregnancy, Robyn Rihanna Fenty has exposed more of her body than the average expectant woman. But Ms Fenty, as we have been made aware, is not an average woman or mother-to-be. So whatever she has worn (or not) isn’t standard either, or maternity wear. Her visible stomach is the focal point of most of her outfits, from the first trimester to the present. The outers, if worn, do not provide cover either. Even if you follow the growth of her baby bump, it may not mean it grows on you. Not many women are comfortable putting their enceinte body in near-full display. Ms Fenty has not only been at ease; she has been eager too. And that, for many COVID-era societies of the West, is admirable, if not exactly imitable.

Such as the above look she adopted two days ago when she went out with A$AP Rocky to have dinner at their favourite restaurant, Giorgio Baldi, in Santa Monica. On social media, so many said she looked “wonderful” or “beautiful”, but no one said they wanted to dress like her. At a glance, it should have been an immediately recognisable ensemble, but Ms Fenty has taken considerable liberties with it and a double take would possibly be necessary to identify the brand. She would not wear something as it was intended (to begin with, she picked regular RTW pieces, nothing, as she vowed, from the “maternity aisle”). So this Miu Miu two-piece, part of the current spring/summer collection that is much loved, was given a Rihanna remake (she is, after all, a fashion designer!): The skirt was lobbed off to shorten it. And she dispensed with Miu Miu inner wear for—presumably—her own Fenty undies. The genius here is making Miu Miu as un-Miu Miu as possible.

Adut Akech on the runway in the same Miu Miu outfit for spring/summer 2022. Photo: Gorurway

Media reports were all raves and more raves: “Rihanna Bra & Skirt Set… Deserves All The Fire Emojis”, “Stuns In See-Through Set”, and our favourite—from Vogue—“One For The Record Books”. Some choice words excited journalists used included “glamorous”, “inspiring”, “incredible”, “style-forward”, “effortless”. The beauty of all this worship is that the goddess is, fashion-wise, faultless. Even if there was discernible wardrobe malfunction. Fans and journalists alike noticed her body glitter, her tattoos, even the linea nigra, but no one mentioned one exposure: In some photographs of her in the silvery crystal mesh top (and matching customised-to-be-mini skirt), part of her left nipple could be seen above the top edge of her brassiere that appeared to have slipped down on that side (it isn’t known why her bra was so loose). Or was that insouciant slide part of what Vogue euphemistically called the “risqué look”?

Just because the Miu Miu set appeared fetching on the model (in this case, Adut Akech), on the runway, it does not automatically mean the outfit would look good on the rest of us. Ms Fenty is, of course, a determined woman. Not to be told what maternity clothes are, or not, she is happy to break all rules (is there any rule in her rule book?) and go the opposite way by not covering a—not just the—large part of her body. It is possible that she was emboldened by the frequent rhapsodising of the press and social media. The more she revealed, the more she was lauded and encouraged. The reciprocal flaunts even gained her a Vogue cover. There was really no need to hold back. It is said that Rihanna’s pregnancy is important to expectant women—she empowers them, to the extent that she needs to be immortalised with a marble statue of her pregnant self sitting in the Metropolitan Museum of New York, among priceless antiquities of stone. If any pregnancy can be this powerful—and political?—and public, it would be Rihanna’s.

Double The Love

miu-miu-sunglasses

This is literally heart to heart!

Miu Miu has two round rimless lenses sporting a heart-shaped centre sandwiched together with an additional lens in the middle. These triple acetate lenses (yes, three layers!), held together by hexagonal screw, lend textural and monochromatic interest to the sunglasses, in addition to the uncommon combination of shapes.

What is fascinating is the heart in the rear (closest to the eye). It is upside down! Despite the coming together of so many shapes in an almost madcap way, the compressed trio does not affect the wearer’s vision: no strange lines reminiscent of bifocals of the past. Everything is clearly rose-tinted, as it’s meant to be.

This isn’t the first time Miu Miu plays with the heart shape. Previously, it was a heart-frame in which a circle lens was centred. Presently, it’s the reverse. As usual, Prada’s playful sister has something up her surprise-hemmed-in sleeves. I heart you: casting speaking glances can’t be simpler.

Miu Miu ‘Heart’ sunglasses, SGD440, are available at Sunglass Hut. Photo: Zhao Xiangji

Dress Watch: Chanelling The Victorian Nightgown

Miu Miu nightgown dress SS 2016

It’s been suggested that Raf Simons had inadvertently launch a minor trend: the day Victorian nightdress, specifically those shown at Dior’s spring/summer 2015 collection. These were not, contrary to its popular description, frumpy bedroom clothes; these were sensational and ‘pure’ enough that the Bennet sisters would have worn them, even in the earlier Regency Period, to the suitors-awaiting Netherfield Ball.

It is, however, not clear how well these Dior dresses fared since no figures were released. More significantly, they weren’t considered the epitome of modernity or sexiness in a time when so much fabric for a single outfit is contrary to the less-is-more preference of women with ample not to conceal. Still, the trend prevails for yet another spring/summer season and we’re quite happy that it has. One of these outdoor-ready night gowns that we find positively charming is the above by Miu Miu.

Prada’s sister line (not diffusion, we should add) has always approached fashion as wackily as their fan base allows. No period, no occasion, or the suitability to either is off limits. It is not surprising then that some form of a nightdress should appear since Miu Miu is no stranger to house clothes as out-and-about attire.

The lace-trimmed ruffles caught our eye. While they may be associated with spinsterhood-bound women, the ruffles, in a V-formation that seems to underscore the high neck, are, in fact, off-beat romantic in a way that Chloe Sevigny would appreciate. And there’s the print: drawing of lit candles that clearly had been burning for hours, adding to the whole night clothes spiel. Rather Florence Nightingale, we thought. Or, Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.

Things get a little tricky in the silhouette of this viscose dress, which the cheery salesgirl in the Miu Miu boutique was keen to point out, is based on the “boyfriend cut”. We assumed she meant “boyfriend shirt” but we’ll take her word for it. There’s nothing wrong with the roominess. It’s rather refreshing given the excess of body-con dresses on social media. However, for most women, used to emphasising the waist, presented with a tented (read: maternity) dress such as this may be like putting a cart before the horse.

Miu Miu ruffled maxi-dress, SGD5,900, is available at Miu Miu, Ion Orchard. Photos: left, style.com; right, Galerie Gombak

Penta-Full Style

Mui mui octagonal tortoise shell frames Sometimes a square, an oblong, an oval, or a circle just won’t quite give your face the character—studious, kooky, glamourous, take your pick—eyewear is supposed to impart. If so, try something reminiscent of geometry class: the pentagon. Miu Miu’s five-sided frames in tortoise shell have a hint of the retro about them, but the gold-tone metal arms are decidedly today’s aviator. We’re also partial to the gradated blue lenses, a whisper of a contrast to the rather vocal frames.

Miu Miu’s appeal may be waning (if the closure of the Ion Orchard store is any indication), but their accessories still have powerful allure. Trend-defying, they have a certain goofiness that balances sophistication, and boldness that matches elegance. In other words, they’re cool.

Miu Miu tortoise shell sunglasses, SGD550, are available at leading eyewear stockists