Shine Bright Like A Diamond! The Story Behind Rihanna's Sheer Fishnet Swarvoski Dress

03 June 2014 by


[Twitter: Rihanna]

Rihanna's Instagram might have shut down, but her Twitter is still up and running. Phew! Rihanna revealed her inspiration behind that naked CFDAs outfit, posting two hilarious memes. First up we have a comparison picture with the late Josephine Baker, looking glamorous in a fur stole and beaded top. Then she posted a picture of Family Guy's Peter Griffin rocking the same look. Hilare!

3 June 2014


We imagine there was only one question on people's lips at the CFDA Awards last night: "Holy crystal, have you seen Rihanna?" The Good Girl Gone bad was never going to wear an LBD to pick up her Icon of the Year Award. She wore a sheer Adam Selman column dress with a slinky racer back covered in 230,000 Swarvoski crystals.

If anyone could bring the #FreeTheNipple campaign to the red carpet it's Rihanna. Every inch of Rih was visible through the Swarvoski crystals as she wore nothing but a nude thong underneath. She paired the dress with a matching Swarvoski headscarf, a dusty pink Pologeorgis fur stole, Monolo Blahnik stilettos, jewellery by Paul Morelli and a pink ring on her pinky by Jacob.

Last week Scout Willis started a 'Free The Nipple' campaign against Instagram’s anti-nipple policy, walking topless around New York. We reckon Rihanna's dress is a stylish finger up to her Instagram ban - @Badgalriri was shut when she posted a picture of her breasts. What happens when Rihanna can't put her nipples on Instagram? She walks the red carpet with them out for all to see.


Rihanna's stylist Mel Ottenberg said to that he wasn't sure if it was controversial as he is now so used to seeing Rihanna's nips. “It’s so naked," he said. "I don’t know if it’s shocking—I’m with her all the time, so my shock gauge is off, but I told her that I thought she was ready for this dress a while ago, and that I wasn’t. I’m the prude, and I’m just catching up.”

“We definitely wanted to make it a little bit scandalous,” designer Adam Selman revealed to “The dress is just fishnet and crystals and a couple of fingers crossed. But fashion is about beauty, and the [female] body is part of that.”  Ottenberg added: “I did this look for her so she’d have a good time. This was the perfect night do to something fun, and I wanted her to have something great that you couldn’t find anywhere else in the world.”

Adam Selman with Rihanna [Instagram]

So how did they come up with the idea for the fishnet number? It was born last month while Selman and Ottenberg were styling Rihanna for the MTV Movie Awards. Selman said to “We started talking about it, and I sketched it shortly after. In fact, the matching do-rag was all Rih’s idea. It brings such a Rihanna feel to the whole thing. It seals the deal.”

If you wondered how long it takes to sew 230,000 crystals on a gown, Ottenberg said: “So many people didn’t sleep last night. I would say at least eight people worked nonstop from 8 p.m. last night to 3 p.m. today putting on the finishing touches.”


So what does Team Grazia really think of the look? Our fashion editor Hannah Almassi said:

"You don’t pick up a gong for being a Fashion Icon every day of the year, so it’s no wonder Rihanna went all out to create the kind of look that will remain in the history books for all time. It’s raunchy – something that she does so effortlessly, yes – but also quite genius. Like a mash-up of every iconic sex-bomb before her: it has hints of Josephine Baker, of Marilyn Monroe, of Cher… I’m thrilled that she didn’t – and usually doesn’t – opt for a safe option. And can you imagine Anna Wintour’s face? Forget the cost of the thousands of glittering Swarovski crystals, that moment sounds priceless."

There's no word on what was going through Anna Wintour's head when she was faced with a nude Rihanna at the podium. However she did say the following when presenting her with the Icon of the Year Award. "The point is to be audacious... while being true to yourself." Well you can't get much more audacious than 230,000 crystals and a thong, can you?

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Rihanna wearing Balmain in Los Angeles - 19 June 2014 

Rihanna in New York, August 2014 

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Rihanna in helmut Lang, New York - 18 August 2014  

Rihanna in Alexander Haider Ackermann and Balenciaga, New York - 20 August 2014 

Rihanna at a game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers on May 15, 2014

Melissa Forde and Rihanna attend an NBA playoff game between Oklahoma City Thunder and the Los Angeles Clippers on May 9, 2014

Rihanna attends the Christian Dior Cruise 2015 Show on May 7, 2014 in New York City.

Rihanna attends the 2014 'Met Ball' on May 5th.

Rihanna is seen at the after-party for The Costume Institute Benefit Gala on May 5, 2014 in New York.

Rihanna in the audience at the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Awards on May 1, 2014 in LA.

Rihanna attends Roc Nation Sports 1 Year Anniversary Luncheon at TAO Downtown on April 28, 2014 in New York.

Rihanna at the Toronto Raptors vs Brooklyn Nets playoff game on April 25, 2014 in New York.

Rihanna at the 2014 MTV Movie Awards LA Live on April 13, 2014.

Rihanna at Oklahoma City Thunder vs the Los Angeles Clippers on April 9, 2014 in LA.

Rihanna attends the Miu Miu show on March 5, 2014 in Paris, France wearing a Prada coat

Rihanna attends the Chanel show on March 4, 2014 in Paris, France dressed in Chanel

Rihanna attends the Stella McCartney show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear Fall/Winter 2014-2015 on March 3, 2014 in Paris, France

Rihanna attends the Roc Nation pre-Grammy brunch on January 25, 2014 in Los Angeles, California

Rihanna poses in the press room at the 2013 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on November 24, 2013 in Los Angeles, California

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Rihanna in Alexander Wang out and about in London - 11 September 2013

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Rihanna at Opening Ceremony at New York Fashion Week - September 2013

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Rihanna at Alexander Wang after party at New York Fashion Week - September 2013

Rihanna in Balmain at 2013 MTV Video Music Awards after party - 25 August 2013

Rihanna at 'Lyon' restaurant, West Village, New York - 12 August 2013

Rihanna out and about in London - 20 July 2013

Rihanna in London - 18 July 2013

Rihanna in Rag & Bone out and about in Manchester - 16 July 2013

Rihanna in visor by Fleet Ilya out and about in London - 15 July 2013

Rihanna in Gareth Pugh out and about in London - 14 July 2013

Rihanna in Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci menswear and Versace shoes in Monaco - 13 July 2013

Rihanna in KTZ in Denmark - 6 July 2013

Rihanna in Tom Ford AW13 boots arriving in Poland - 6 July 2013

Rihanna at Chanel show, Haute Couture Fall Winter 2013, Paris Fashion Week - 2 July 2013

Rihanna out and about, London, Britain - 20 June 2013

Rihanna in Stella McCartney top and clutch at Rorrey Fenty after show party at Boujis nightclub, London - 16 June 2013

Rihanna in Christopher Kane out and about, London - 16 June 2013

Rihanna in Big Star USA dungarees at the All Star Bowling Alley, Manchester - 12 June 2013

Rihanna in Miu Miu out and about, Manchester - 11 June 2013

Rihanna out and about by the Eiffel Tour in Paris - 7 June 2013

Rihanna Filming In New York - 16 May 2013

Rihanna out and about, New York - 9 May 2013

Rihanna in Rihanna by River Island in New York - 12 May 2013

Rihanna out and about in New York - 5 May 3013

Rihanna in Mary Katrantzou and Tom Ford sandals - 30 April 2013

Rihanna in Miu Miu coat and Current Elliot jeans - 28 April 2013

Rihanna in Acne jacket, Rodarte coat, Celine shoes and Miu Miu sunglasses in New York- 26 April 2013

Rihanna in custom Givenchy By Riccardo Tisci and Paige Denim jeans in Miami - 21 April 2013

Rihanna in Rag and Bone and Chanel jewellery at the Staples Center in Los Angeles - 21 April 2013

Rihanna in Givenchy by Riccardo Tisci t shirt, 3.1 Phillip Lim jacket, Saint Laurent Paris by Heidi Slimane shoes - 24 April 2013

Rihanna in T by Alexander Wang and shoes by Tom Ford - 21 April 2013

Rihanna in dress by Whitney Eve and Prada sunglasses - 11 April 2013

Rihanna at Los Angeles Lakes Basketball game - April 2013

Rihanna arriving in London - February 2013

Rihanna in custom Azzedine Alaia at the Grammy Awards - February 2013

Rihanna at River Island show at London Fashion Week - February 2013

Rihanna - November 2012

Rihanna - June 2012

Rihanna in London - February 2012

Rihanna at Grammys - February 2012

Rihanna launches her new album 'Unapologetic' in New York City, November 2012

Rihanna at the MTV Video Music Awards, September 2012

Rihanna at Grammys - February 2011

Rihanna in Acne at Westfield, November 2012

Rihanna during her 777 tour, November 2012

Rihanna performs during the 2012 Victoria's Secret Show, November 2012

Rihanna at the Los Angeles premiere of 'Battleship', May 2012

Rihanna in Tom Ford at the Costume Institute Gala, May 2012

Rihanna at the TIME 100 Gala in New York City, April 2012

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Rihanna in New York City, June 2012

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