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Then Rihanna makes me suffer
“I want you elegant,” declares Rihanna in the private room at Tom Ford. “Try these,” she commands, pulling thigh-high black suede stiletto boots off a top shelf. I do. Suddenly my average skinny jeans look awesome.“Now these!” she says, tossing a pair of cobalt-blue, high-heeled alligator sandals at me. “You’d wear these with jeans and a man’s jacket.
“This is what a guy wants,” continues Rihanna. “When it feels like it’s yours and it feels like it’s you, that’s what works. You want to look like you are not just someone in cool clothes. . . . You could wear this on a date.” (This for the benefit of single readers—I’ve been married seven years.)
Then Rihanna makes me suffer, trying endless revealing dresses. She puts me in a scarlet fringed top with a red satin pencil skirt. She loves it. I think I look like someone who’s been made over for The X Factor. I protest. It is freezing cold outside, and a storm is blowing in. I need coverage. Finally we settle on a pair of skinny black cigarette pants and a thin black cashmere roll-neck sweater. She clips a huge gold cuff on my left wrist and a two-inch-thick gold choker around my neck with ridges of crocodile skin molded into it for interest. Shoe-wise, she has no mercy—I am to wear a pair of black-and-gold eyelet strappy gladiator sandals with four-inch needle-like gold heels. I check out my reflection in the mirror. The look is very Paloma Picasso circa 1986. It is unbelievably chic. I don’t care that my toes will be frostbitten within seconds of stepping outside.
Rihanna throws a voluminous black cape with huge golden zippers over the top of the outfit for the cold. The cape adds a dramatic proportion. This is a great look for a cocktail party. We also discuss underpinnings—does Rihanna ever wear underwear? I ask her (she isn’t wearing anything under her bodysuit, which is totally backless). “If I’m wearing a top, I don’t wear a bra,” she says. “If I’m wearing a bra, I just wear a bra.” We depart the Tom Ford store amid peals of laughter from the assorted staff who have been helping with the mission.