Rihanna for Balmain Spring 2014 Ad Campaign

Posted on December 17, 2013

Who’s in the mood for some fierce? We are, as you may suspect, always up for it.

We suspect there will be some disagreement on this, but we think that Ri’s rocking the camera here, as well as rocking clothes that are not at all easy to rock, once they get off a runway.


Rihanna for Balmain Spring 2014 ad campaign photographed by Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin and styled by Mel Ottenberg.


But lest you think we’re overpraising, here are some bitchbites:

She’s got the intensity of a model but she doesn’t always know how to pose. She always looks like she doesn’t know what to do with her hands.

We hate her hair here.




[Photo Credit: Inez van Lamsweerde & Vinoodh Matadin for Balmain]

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  • Mona_Visa

    “Hair in the face is for ugly girls.” I always hear Miss Jay’s voice from ANTM when I see pics like this.

    • sojourneryouth

      I can live with the hair in the first pic, but I don’t get it at all in the second. Why pay for a celeb’s cachet when you stick her behind a hair curtain?

      • Mona_Visa

        Exactly. If I want to see Prince, I’ll just go watch Purple Rain.

        • sojourneryouth

          Ha! She is looking pretty Lovesexy in these pics, fo sho.

  • kimmeister

    She’s not giving much face, it’s mostly hair. That denim top seems like it would pinch nipples.

  • Danielle

    I… like those chunky gold bangles.

  • Lucía Gavello

    I think Balmain is perfectly suited for her, sexy and a bit angry without being al Versace trashy about it. Her style veers off to dirty very often and I think Balmain helps rein that in.

  • jelenawoehr

    DANNNNG. She looks incredible. I kind of hate the white chain on the front of the pink bathrobe thing though, it looks like part of a Fisher-Price toy set.

  • homofascist

    High waisted pleated baggy jeans. Just say it out loud.

    • homofascist

      Still, if anyone on the planet could makes these looks work, it is her.

    • Jacqueline Wessel

      Interesting…from my vantage point those are low waisted pleated baggy jeans.

      • boweryboy

        The placement of the belt and the pleats gives the illusion of a high waist. Either way they’re still fugly.

    • Constant Reader

      I really did say out loud as I scrolled through: “I do believe those are reverse cut jeans.” And then the kitten sitting on my lap and I shuddered in horror.

  • Nicholas

    She’s making those clothes way better-looking than they really are. Gotta hand that to her.

    The shoot also looks like it actually included some artistic effort, so good work all around.

  • hughman

    Oh look, she dropped her wig overnight without any advance PR or single. Nice try, RiRi.

    • MilaXX


    • Evan

      Lol To be fair, I think Rihanna has a lot more personality than Beyonce. I mean, I don’t even know what Beyonce’s personality is after all these years. I can’t relate to her. Plus, she went to two vegan restaurants recently and wore a coat with a fox fur hood at one and an all leather ensemble with a cow hide patterned top at the other. I’m not a vegan and I wear leather, but I just found that highly ignorant and insensitive. I have to admit her new album sounds good though and dropping the album without any warning was a brilliant move. Plus, she avoided any leaks that way.

      • heuristicvalue

        HAHAHA really!? Wow, that is hilariously clueless or obnoxious, depending on how self-aware she is. I rolled my eyes SO HARD at the headline “Beyonce and Jay-Z go vegan for 22 days.”

        • Evan

          Yup. Saw it on the Daily Mail. The pics are all there. I hope she’s just completely clueless and wasn’t purposely being obnoxious, but being that clueless is sad and isn’t an excuse either.

  • Kyle Henry

    Balmain-robe-wearin’-in-my-recently-redecorated-Mod-bathroom-with-hair-product-drippin’-down-my-face realness.

  • TropiCarla

    I sort of LOVE the first top. If it were a dress, and I were Rihanna, that would be my jam.

  • KT

    I feel like Balmain designed their entire Spring 2014 line while negotiating with Rihanna to be the face of it — I can’t think of anyone better suited for these looks. Work that FRO (for Rihanna only) shit, girl.

  • ashtangajunkie

    Love the first shot. Leave to Rihanna to successfully rock denim on denim, with chains and pleats.

  • Looks like her wig’s askew. That said, I do love her in these clothes. Balmain has a Bad Bitch vibe that is perfect for RhiRhi.

  • GorgeousThings

    She makes me want that first outfit.
    Until I see it on the model.

    BTW, for any DIY-ers in the crowd, Pacific Trims on 38th St. in New York sells that plastic chain for something like $12/yard (don’t quote me on that – it’s not my style so I never priced it, but still, it’s way less than Balmain).

  • Lesley

    is it wrong that i absolutely j’adore these? balmain isn’t easy to pull off but she rocks balmain like it’s nobodies business

  • Sabin

    That second one is so Prince in drag.

    • MilaXX

      Swap out the pink for purple and that’s spot on.

    • IAmJ

      Or just Prince, period.

  • MilaXX

    She’s not my cup of tea, but I’ll always acknowledge that she can wear clothes. Attitude for days. I like the denim look better than the pink. I think the pink look needs less fussy or softer hair. I think the pixie cut she wore for a minute would have worked better.

  • Paigealicious

    Those lace shoes are FUG-LAY.

    • YousmelllikeAnnaWintour


  • Lizzy

    i’m seeing Prince

    • NMMagpie

      I thought the same thing.

    • bellafigura1

      I agree, in a good way.

    • formerlyAnon

      Generally and in this case, a good thing, IMO.

  • annabelle archer

    She was made for Balmain.

  • stubbornthoughts

    Love her in that first top. That is all.

  • Adrianna Grężak

    The set design is in a miss here. Balmain clothes are over the top and fun – why does she look like she’s sitting in a robe in a dirty gym bathroom?

    • Jaeda Laurez

      Yeah, not a fan- i think they were trying to go for something like the Imagination sequence from Flashdance, but the lighting makes it look really cheap. And let’s face it, when you have what looks like giant plastic links on the front of your (likely) $2K jacket, better lighting than this is required.
      Rihanna always gives you face though, so that’s good at least. I really like the blue on her, although I’d LOVE it if that top were lengthened to a cute minidress and they dumped those dreadful pants.

      • Monabel

        I kinda like the pants.

        • Jaeda Laurez

          I like the waist and the belt, but they’re too long for me, I feel like they’ve gone from “oversized” to “just too big.” And normally I LOVE Balmain pants.

    • Kayceed

      It looks like she is sitting in a hammam. Scrubbed down, brightly lit, but still, ew.

  • elemspbee

    The face. Gorgeous.

  • Yeah, the clutched hands make her look nervous, but she’s rocking the shit out of those clothes. As for the hair, I’ve seen enough bad decisions there that I’m happy to let this one go.

  • Glam Dixie

    Hand tats always make your hands look dirty to me. She is making the clothes work, but she just bugs me so much it makes it hard to be objective.

  • Mrs. Julien

    Why did they photograph her in a schvitz?

  • Rebecca Harvey

    That blue top looks like a major nipple pinch waiting to happen. I hope it’s lined.

  • marlie

    Not loving the second picture, but RiRi looks pretty good in the first. If *anyone* is going to be the spokesperson for Balmain, it’s Rihanna. No one else could come close to making it work.

  • KinoEye

    She’s selling it for sure, but yeah — get that damn hair out of her lovely face. On a different note, the model in the first picture is a dead ringer for Hilary Swank, circa Boys Don’t Cry.

  • jilly_d

    I usually like Balmain but find these pieces tacky beyond belief, particularly the denim/chain getup. Just godawful. Tall lace gold-capped booties? Christ have mercy.

  • formerlyAnon

    I love this look on her.

    She’s one of maybe six women who could rock that baggy pink suit which appears to be made from some pretty nice crib quilts.

  • jensuch

    Your comment about hands has me thinking about Jack Donaghy needing two coffee cups to hold b/c he doesn’t know what to do with his hands on camera.

  • SportifLateBoomer

    Big fierceitude. Love the denim/metal top and chunky chain bangles. Need cheap knockoff versions STAT.

  • Constant Reader

    Gold -belt martial arts diva is going to KICK YOUR ASS.

  • Anplica Fiore

    The hair is v Purple Rain Prince to me…

  • Sweetvegan

    The top photo is totally the cover of Madonna’s Like a Virgin album! Remember the “Boy Toy” belt buckle?! Her pose, the hair, the belt buckle! Does no one else see it?!

  • NOLA_gal

    Nobody else is visualizing Britney and Justin in their matching denim suits with that first one? Just me…?

  • heuristicvalue

    Hot girl rocking the hell out of hideous clothes. I like the hair…if it allowed me to see her face.