Like prom season, every New York Fashion Week has a reigning queen. This time around, Rihanna rules. There she was Saturday afternoon, seated in the front row at Alexander Wang, one seat over from the photographer Ellen von Unwerth. Her outfit was a T by Alexander Wang metallic blue jacket, open to her navel. She wore it with a matching metallic blue hat, her lips painted bright red.
Later that night, the pop star headed south for Joseph Altuzarra’s show, this time decked out in one of Mr. Altuzarra’s black blazers with a fringed bottom and no shirt, giving the audience an ample view of her decolletage.
On Sunday, she popped up at Versus’s presentation in a crop top and a pink miniskirt, her arm around Naomi Campbell’s waist.
After that, she made an appearance at No 8, where she opted for a bright red dress, this time flanked by the models Karlie Kloss and Cara Delevingne. There was also a late arrival last week at the show of Adam Selman, a designer who has worked on many of her tour costumes.
But on Wednesday, she missed her friend Jeremy Scott’s show because of a simultaneous fashion engagement doing a shoot for Elle magazine. “That’s why she couldn’t be there today,” Mr. Scott told a reporter, adding that she had already worn a piece from the collection during a recent concert at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.
Mr. Scott said the relationship between the fashion world and RiRi, as she’s referred to by devotees, is a two-sided love affair: She has an immense interest in clothes, and designers appreciate her ability to easily transform from one extreme to another.
“She can appear in so many different styles and make it feel authentic,” he said. “She can wear something conservative from one designer and make it cooler, or she can take something from my Adidas collection and make it look sexy and feminine when it’s a men’s item.”
Of course, when an entertainer starts showing up at lots of fashion week events, rumblings of under-the-table payments are inevitable. But that does not appear to be what’s happening here. Most of the designers whose shows she is attending are young or edgy, or both, with limited finances. “I don’t pay anyone,” said Mr. Scott.
“It’s really just her being in town at the time as the shows saying ‘I want to go to blah blah,’” said Rihanna’s stylist, Mel Ottenberg, sitting front row Wednesday night at the Proenza Schouler show. “And I’m like, ‘I’m going, already.’ And then she says ‘sick’ and then we go together.”
“She’s a fashion animal,” said Stefano Tonchi, the editor of W, who put Rihanna on its September cover and was seated across from Mr. Ottenberg.
On the W shoot, Mr. Tonchi described a woman who was totally enthralled by the process of transforming through clothes.
“She really worked so hard,” he said. “Yes, she was late like usual. Every great music talent has scheduling problems. They have the entourage and all of that. But at 4 o’clock she was there on the set judging the clothes. She was a real part of the creative process.”
New York Times