Rihanna, AKA queen of style, beauty and our hearts, is known for always looking incredible. Whether she’s rocking streetwear or red carpet atire, it’s always a flawless ensemble.
But if you think that you’ve got to be a multimillionaire A-Lister to pull off her outfits, think again. Model and wardrobe stylist Gess Pugh has been recreating Rihanna’s outfits and sharing side-by-side photos on her Instagram.
Her project, #RIHCreate, was designed to inspire other people to get creative with the clothes they already had in their wardrobe. Although she started the project last year, it’s the perfect lockdown experiment – given that most of us haven’t been able to go into a clothes shop since February.
‘Y’all would be surprised to know that a lot (not all) of my Rihanna-inspired looks come from things I alrady own,’ Gess says on her Instagram.
Talking about recreating a black slip and sneakers outfit Rihanna once wore to an event, Gess reveals that she bought her version of the dress at Target some years previously.
‘Just shows that you don’t have to break the bank to dress like Rih!’
Her first post was back in September 2019 – New York Fashion Week. Gess turned up to the shows wearing a vermillion, flared-sleeve trench and snakeskin thigh-high boots, in the style of a Rih-Rih magazine cover.
‘I was extremely anxious and frustrated going into NYFW because so many of my outfit ideas couldn’t come to fruition because I couldn’t find items in my size,’ she said at the time.
‘I was upset because my straight size friends NEVER have this problem, they have access to soooo much and rarely have to worry if someone else will have their exact outfit on. But that’s a reality for plus-size women, which is so defeating when you work in fashion. Instead of giving up hope, I decided to pull my sleeves up and throw together looks I could be proud of. Rihanna is my no.1 style inspo and I was nervous that I wouldn’t look as good as her or do her outfits justice. But I’m damn proud, y’all.’
And so she should have been; Gess has gone on to prove that the size of your body and wallet shouldn’t be a barrier to style.
RIHCreate has been about proving that fashion doesn’t have to be predictable and that plus-size women ‘can wear bold, fun, different and cool outfits like our fave celebs, fashion editors and bloggers’.
It’s been a challenge, Gess admits, because ‘there’s still a great deal plus-sized women don’t have access to, but I’m learning that there are small designers committed to giving plus-size women the luxury of choice.’