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Rihanna wants you to dress like a genderless Japanese goth. And now you probably will.

One in a series of reports on the clothes that had a moment at New York Fashion Week.

NEW YORK — The pop star Rihanna introduced ready-to-wear to her collaboration with Puma — another entertainer who has taken on the mantle of designer. Sigh. Heavy sigh. (Still awaiting a Seventh Avenue star to announce: Look at me! I’m a rock star!)

So what have we here? For her New York fashion week show, Rihanna drew inspiration from Japanese street style, mixed in some gothic gloom, some oversize silhouettes from back in the hip-hop old days and a bit of today’s gender-free zeitgeist as imagined by Hood by Air.

The fashion industry wants to disrupt the runway. It’s missing the real problem.

The collection was unveiled in the fashion industry’s favorite derelict Wall Street temple on a frigid Friday night. Male and female models stomped down a mirrored runway and through a black and white forest and a bit of dramatic fog. The collection featured sexy women and hunky dudes wearing giant fur warm-up jackets, side-lacing track pants, sky-high Creepers, spike-heeled sneakers and fur fanny packs.

Instead of a show focused on grandiose artistry or political statements, Rihanna’s Fenty collection was just about clothes.  About revving up consumer demand for an item (fur fanny packs, maybe?) and a look (get your black lipstick now!).

Fenty ready-to-wear is not high-minded or multilayered. And that’s perfectly fine. It’s just stuff. And perhaps, with Rihanna’s name on it, that’s enough of a sales pitch.


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