Last night Rihanna opened the 2016 MTV Video Music Awards. This year’s recipient of the Video Vanguard Award has a plethora of hits so the millions who tuned in were surprised that her set ended so quickly. But that was just the tip of the iceberg! Rihanna actually performed four times during the show and received her honour at the end of the last one. Each performance required a look that matched the vibe of the songs. Rih turned to her longtime stylist Mel Ottenberg to handle this special occasion and he did not disappoint. Thanks to his styling assistant, Alexa Lanza, I’ve got all the details on these spectacular looks to share with you.
Rihanna kicked things off with a medley of her upbeat hits – Don’t Stop The Music, Only Girl (in the World), We Found Love and Where Have You Been.
She rocked a pair of red Jackie O sunglasses by Cutler and Gross when she first hit the stage but quickly removed those. You can spot Hearts on Fire‘s three prong diamond necklace.
Hood by Air designed the fashion icon’s outfit. It included a custom pink version of their cookie ringer bodysuit ($215). The brand also made the pale pink corset/mini-skirt hybrid with attached sleeves and oversized pockets as well as the zip-embellished chaps. A pair of Comme des Garçons‘ Fall 2016 pink fuzzy sneakers completed the look. They are available here for $792.
The rest of the jewellery for this look included ruby earrings and a white diamond and ruby watch by Jacob & Co and three ruby rings by Lydia Courteille. Courteille is a Paris-based designer and gemologist who uses precious stones in her intricate designs.
Naomi Campbell introduced Rihanna before the second performance. The singer threw a party on stage and gave us a taste of her Caribbean-flavoured hits Rude Boy, What’s My Name and Work. She wore a custom durag by Gauntlett Cheng, an Adam Selman tee with his logo in red on the back, a custom fur-trimmed bra by Rosamosario and Manolo Blahnik suede pumps with a crystal-adorned strap. The tights are customised Wolford.
Her pants are from Alexandre Vauthier‘s Fall 2016 couture collection [Look 22] and they feature large cargo pockets and elasticated ankle cuffs. Lydia Courteille designed her cocktail ring. It’s a tsavorite and brown rhodium gold ring from the Queen of Sheba collection. Her diamond stud earrings are from Harry Kotlar.
Rihanna switched up more than just her outfit for her third appearance on stage. She rocked a mullet-style wig while singing her club anthems Needed Me, Pour It Up and Bitch Better Have My Money. She rocked a custom black bodysuit with padded shoulders by Vetements.
Her rhinestone-embellished velvet gloves and the over-the-knee boots are from Vetements’ Spring/Summer 2017 collection. The gloves are a collab with Juicy Couture while Manolo Blahnik collaborated with the brand on the boots. You may recall that she wore the orange version of those boots to OVO Fest earlier this month.
Depuis 1924 provided the vintage starburst brooch by Kenneth Jay Lane. Rafaello & Co designed the ankh necklace, a cross necklace and the diamond choker. The fox fur stole is by Sprung Freres.
Rihanna began this performance wearing an oversized jacket by Lin Ya Jun. It’s from the designer’s Parsons 2016 graduation collection.
R&B legend Mary J. Blige welcomed Rihanna to the stage for the final time. Fenty saved the best for last and hit us with three of her biggest ballads – Stay, Diamonds and Love on the Brain. Afterwards, Drake presented her with the Video Vanguard award.
Ottenberg chose a champagne silk satin dress from the aforementioned Fall 2016 couture collection by Alexandre Vauthier [Look 8]. The voluminous gown features a zip front closure, epaulettes and an asymmetrical hem. The studded wrap-around belt features grommet detail that matches the sandals and a raw edge. Diamond earrings by Yeprem completed the look.
images via ultimate rihanna, rihanna diva