Rihanna for W Magazine

Posted on August 11, 2014


Rihanna-W-Magazine-September-2014-Issue-Magazine-Editorial-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (1)Rihanna covers the September 2014 issue of W Magazine photographed by Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott and styled by Edward Enninful.

Rihanna-W-Magazine-September-2014-Issue-Magazine-Editorial-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (2)

Rihanna-W-Magazine-September-2014-Issue-Magazine-Editorial-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (3)

Rihanna-W-Magazine-September-2014-Issue-Magazine-Editorial-Tom-Lorenzo-Site-TLO (4)

And also vaguely appropriative? It’s kind of hard to tell.

But man, can she ever work a lens like a pro. There is simply no non-model celebrity working on her level, not even Tilda Swinton. She is officially a supermodel now.





[Photo Credit: Mert Alas & Marcus Piggott for W Magazine]

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  • http://anibundel.com/ anibundel

    Tyra Banks, eat your heart out.

  • Thomas

    Stunning. Very Veruschka by way of an editorial when Diana Vreeland ran Vogue. She really is the first singer I can think of who can hold her own against the supermodels of the early 90s. She can give so many different faces/expressions and do so many different looks. J.Lo is gorgeous and model like as well, but she doesn’t really have many looks. She’s pretty much set on fierce. And Madonna was chameleon like, but I never thought she was as fashionable as Rihanna and she only really has one face that she gives. Rihanna also doesn’t come off as trying too hard like Lady Gaga or Miley Cyrus. And Beyonce or Katy Perry could never pull off a shoot like this lol

    • Lola

      Why are you bringing other artists into this? You Rihanna stans stay pressed harder than a panini

      • Thomas

        I’m just saying that she’s a better model than any of the others. It has nothing to do with their respective amounts of talent. You sound pressed.

        • OffToSeeHim

          I’m not arguing with you at all – but is this a slang term my kids haven’t started using yet? I glossed right over the entire comment because I couldn’t parse the sentence “You Rihanna stans stay pressed harder than a panini” at all. Is it offensive?

          • Thomas

            Yeah, it means you’re all in a tizzy over something or someone. I’m not really sure you can call it offensive, but it’s certainly not polite. It’s like calling somebody a hater. It’s immature. And in this case it was really uncalled for because I like Madonna, Rihanna, J.Lo, Beyonce and Lady Gaga’s music. I was just saying that Rihanna is a better model than them.

          • random_poster

            I did the same thing–glossed over it because I couldn’t parse it out. I ended up highlighting the sentence and showed it to my son. He also couldn’t figure it out and commented on it being poor grammar.

          • stonecoldcuddlewhore

            Love your son for pointing out the grammar. Keep up the good work, mom/dad.

          • Heather

            I love Urban Dictionary. In regards to “stan” – “Based on the central character in the Eminem song of the same name, a
            “stan” is an overzealous maniacal fan for any celebrity or athlete. A Typical Kobe Bryant Stan would say something like:

            “Kobe Bryant scored 81 points last night. Kobe could beat God
            himself in a game of 1 on 1 hoops. To hell with Michael Jordan or Wilt
            Chamberlain, they aren’t on Kobe’s level!” In regards to being pressed – “Obsessed or attuned to a particular thing, idea, or person to an unseemly degree. Always used in the pejorative. Seems to have originated in the Mid-Atlantic region (probably Southeast D.C.). Examples: Damn, he’s pressed for some soda!
            or He called you 23 times last night? He is pressed. Thank heavens for urban dictionary. :o)

      • http://www.tomandlorenzo.com/ Tom and Lorenzo

        Don’t bring crap like that here.

      • Alfred Cox

        Love the stans reference

  • @Biting Panda

    She can pierce through, for sure.

    I am a bit underwhelmed by the fact her expression is unchanged from shot to shot.

    • Thomas

      There’s actually more photos than this from the shoot where she gives different faces. Go on W Magazine’s website and you’ll see them.

      • Sarah

        You’ve been waiting for this one all day, Thomas! She does rather put all the TCA kids to shame, doesn’t she?

        • Thomas

          Yes, idk, I love her because there’s just something about her that sucks you in. She has that undefinable it quality to me. I always thought she could be a supermodel. Sometimes I fantasize about being her stylist, but I think her stylist has done a fantastic job with her. I love her music too and I don’t want her to stop, but sometimes I think that modeling was her true calling. I think she’s like a designer’s dream. And I’m not the only one who thinks this because Tom Ford, Ricardo Tisci and the designer for Balmain all fawn over her.

          • Sarah

            She is very intense, for sure. I like that people who design shoots aren’t afraid to do interesting things with her, because they know she has enough presence to handle elaborate styling/sets. I remember when she first came out, though, and a lot of the beauty we see now is the result of celebrity-level grooming. Not as if that isn’t the case with all newly minted stars, but I remember a pretty girl with lackluster hair and bad-ish skin, and now look at her – just amazing.

          • Thomas

            I don’t remember her having bad skin. I always remember her having a clear complexion free from acne. But I do remember her having a very nondescript style before the Good Girl Gone Bad era/”Umbrella” came out. That’s when she chopped off her hair, started the asymmetrical bob trend and started to become a fashion maven.

          • Herr Meier

            model is more than just hair and skin. otherwise kate moss would be out of job. it’s presence, star power. that’s why jay-z couldn’t wait to sign her when he met her

  • lbl

    Definitely appropriation, but I still love that Princess Mononoke style shot.

    Please tell me you’re planning to feature her other editorial in this issue. Talk about supermodel….

    • Thomas

      The one with Iman and Naomi? She definitely held her own. But I like this one more because it’s more artistic. It’s vaguely appropriative, but I’ll give it a pass because of how well done it is and because it seems to be a mix of different things (Eskimo, tribal, early man) rather than just one cultural group.

      • Imasewsure

        Good point about it being more of a vague appropriation rather than mimicking a specific culture but it still seems wrong… pretty and fierce, but wrong….

        • Thomas

          Idk. It just doesn’t bother me as much as if she was wearing a Native American headdress.

        • WaterGhost

          Call it summertime Viking swimwear edition. It seems pretty fantasyland.

        • fursa_saida

          Yeah, I think it’s bothering me less probably for the not-so-stellar reason that the mixing means it’s less obviously “we directly stole this thing.” It’s like the common defense of purely aesthetic appreciation feels a little more applicable because mashing things together makes it seem more sincerely about aesthetics, somehow? Like, there’s no one type of model that could represent this in a more ethical way, whereas when it’s war bonnets or bindis it’s very obvious who should be wearing that and who shouldn’t. But that doesn’t change the fact that lifting was done. I’m struggling with how to feel.

        • Aurumgirl

          I agree. Rihanna is certainly a fantastic model but the shoot–black woman as animal, as primitive–wow, that’s an old, racist rehash of images. She would have been just as talented and breathtakingly capable in something less purposely demeaning.

      • Lower L

        When I see this, all I can think of is the queen of the Vikings’ enemies in The 13th Warrior.

    • Amelia

      Not trying to be an ass here, just genuinely curious, but appropriation of what? The only thing I can think of is the boar tusk cuffs being similar to various Polynesian ones, but the furs don’t really match that.

      • lbl

        I guess the argument here would be what do we consider appropriation because you’re right, I don’t see just one culture referenced here. It just gives the vibe of native, indigenous, or tribal type reference that can make me uncomfortable in certain contexts.

        But the more I look at it the more I just see Princess Mononoke who, granted, sort of represents those groups in the film.

        • NinjaCate

          Well I think the point IS that it’s a mish-mash of several cultures. In the same way that Katy Perry’s AMA performance (I think it was AMA’s?) was kind of vaguely Pan-Asian. If it was only one culture you might argue it was meant as homage and went wrong somewhere, but the many references kind of indicates the lack of regard for them as important and separate cultures and treats them as interchangeable.

          And this is from someone who loves Rihanna so much she got a mirrored-tat on her collarbone because Rihanna did it, and then had a panic attack when Rihanna got a septum piercing after she did! I love her but I think this is kind of… not awesome. She does look amazing though. But I’m gonna have to boot this one, and sub in the SUPERMODELS OF THE WORLD shoot because I’ve never come so close to seeing the face of God. Lol.

          • ConnieBV

            Excellent explanation.

      • Joanna

        I have to be honest – if they are borrowing from one or more cultures, I wouldn’t know it. To me, the pictures here just say “sexy prehistoric cave woman”.

      • ConnieBV

        Various native and tribal visuals and yes, it’s appropriation because said visuals are viewed as there for the taking, common property. It made me uncomfortable.

  • AlisonHendryx


    • Thomas

      That’s because TLo didn’t post all of the photos. That’s ok though. Just go look for yourself on the magazine’s website.

      • AlisonHendryx

        I did. They are all the same. There are seven pictures on W’s site, and TLo posted 4. The other three are just at 3/4 profile. But they’re the same face! Doesn’t anybody notice this?

        • Thomas

          I must be blind then because in the closeup with the white face paint, braids hanging down and the huge earrings she has a somber face and in the last photo in the slideshow with the spiky earrings and black face paint and huge necklace she is giving a fierce face. Those are two completely different looks!

          • AlisonHendryx

            I don’t think you’re blind, but I think you’re projecting a lot more emotion onto the picture (especially the one with the braids) than she is providing with her face.

          • Thomas

            Idk. I think her expression looks pretty fierce in the last one of the slideshow while I think she looks sad or longing in the closeup with the white face paint and braids. I do think she gave more varied facial expressions for Harper’s Bazaar Arabia though.

          • SugarSnap108

            We’ve all stood alone in the corner at some point :) I really only see one face, too. But it’s a damn good face.

          • AlisonHendryx

            It’s certainly not a *bad* face, but it’s just… kind of blankly fierce. You don’t have stay in the corner!

          • Thomas

            Haha As I said before, I do think she offered up more variety with her face for Harper’s Bazaara Arabia! This one is definitely more one note.

    • alyce1213

      You’re not crazy.

    • TonyGo

      I see dead eyes.

      • Thomas

        I don’t consider this dead eye, except for maybe the last photo TLo posted. Kstew and Britney give dead eyes.

    • Imasewsure

      I’d say two…. the cover shot is different than the others (and actually the only one where I think she is really giving good face). The other three are very very similar but I still like them – mostly because of the entire photo though not just because of her Blue Steel

    • Stancey

      I feel like the make-up is doing a lot of the heavy lifting here.

      • Thomas

        It also obscure any “looks” she’s giving. I just say refer to her Harper’s Bazaar Arabia shoot. Girl can give different faces.

    • http://armchairauthor.wordpress.com/ LesYeuxHiboux

      Vacant and surly. I’m with you.

    • MoreShoes

      Thank you. I wanted to post the same, but you already did. She has the same look in all the photos.

    • Kent Roby

      I agree; she’s stunningly gorgeous, but she’s no Tilda.

    • Kent Roby

      You’re not alone.

    • susan6

      “And then there’s ‘Le Tigre’. But that’s more of a catalogue look.”

  • MilaXX

    I like these photos. A Lot. You do however, raise a good question about the whether or not this crosses the cultural appropriation line or not. I will say she gives good face. I don’t know is that is influencing my judgement of these shots or not, but I am okay with this spread.

    There are also photos of her along side Naomi Campbell and Iman. She is being photographed with 2 of the greatest supermodels and fits in seamlessly. I agree she has earned supermodel status.

    • Laura F.

      I’m really uncomfortable with a black woman being dressed up as a Fabulous Savage.

      • MilaXX

        I can appreciate that which is what I was trying to say in my initial comment. The shoot is fabulous and while I can see where an argument could be made for appropriation, this shoot somehow works for me. It can be a fine line and I think this shoot is dancing right up to the very edge of it.

        • ShaoLinKitten

          I don’t think Laura is saying it’s appropriation. She’s saying it’s more of the Noble Savage stereotype, which is just as bad as appropriation. That was my thought too.

          • MilaXX

            Fair enough. I’m not trying to dismiss anyone’s feeling in this, and perhaps because I viewed it along with the pictures of her along with Naomi and Iman, but I just didn’t mind it. I found these beautiful.

          • ShaoLinKitten

            There is no denying her beauty. I am of two minds on this.

          • MilaXX

            I think a lot of people may be. For me I think I would be more uncomfortable if this was something that Rhianna did often. Like I said it’s definitely a fine line and I respect the opinion of anyone who is uncomfortable with it.

      • NinjaCate

        That was my major problem too.

      • nightsofsun

        I think sometimes you have to stop looking at just the colour of the skin and also look at the person.

        Yes it can make you uncomfortable that it is a black woman dressed as a savage, but this isn’t some random black model, they did it with Rihanna and the whole theme and styling fits her and her image perfectly. Heck it is maybe even somewhat surprising that we haven’t seen her on a red carpet with blue face makeup and a septum piercing yet.

    • MaggieMae

      Thanks for mentioning the photos of Rhi along with Naomi and Iman. LOVE Iman.

  • alyce1213

    It’s a lot of styling, not much substance (from her), at least not in these photos.
    Made me think of Quest for Fire.

  • demidaemon

    It’s very Princess Mononoke couture, and I love it.

    • Kitten Mittons

      Love her, love this.

  • Latin Buddy

    OF FUCKING COURSE. You get a non-white model, no better time to reference every “native” “indigenous” “tribal” motif.

    • SH

      Yeah, I didn’t read appropriation into it as much as just… racism.

      • smayper

        Straight, no chaser. Yup.

    • Glam Dixie

      It’s a bit tasteless, regardless of who the model is.

    • SewingSiren

      I don’t know whether it makes any difference , but the stylist for this shoot is African American.

    • Herr Meier

      plenty of white models done million of those kind of photoshoots. people just can’t wait to be offended these days

  • Glam Dixie

    Girl may as well just become a supermodel because her singing is only so-so, the fact that she is so beautiful is probably as much a part of why she is famous as her bleating.

    • Thomas

      I think her voice is perfect for the radio and I like her voice when she’s on (her voice is only on point some of the time unfortunately) because it’s so different, but I do think her true calling may have been to be a supermodel.

      • Glam Dixie

        That’s what makes the world go around. I think she bleats like a goat, but I’m funny about singers. If you don’t sound amazing live, then you can’t sing. I don’t care what they can do to your voice in the studio.

        • Thomas

          I think she sounds good live sometimes (like on SNL and the Grammys last year and on American Idol a few years ago). I think she can sing well given the song suits her range and she puts her mind to it. I just think that usually she’s a very lazy performer and much like her personality, she doesn’t give a fuck (or phuck as she would write). I wish she would give a fuck about her performances more often. I don’t think she’ll ever be a great singer, but I think she certainly has a unique voice and I think she could be a decent singer. She’s much better than Katy Perry for what that’s worth.

          • Glam Dixie

            Katy Perry is pretty awful, I’ll give you that one.

          • Thomas

            And she can’t model lol

          • NinjaCate

            She is definitely a lazy performer. She sounds best when she just sings. Try to get her to do choreo or interact with the crowd and she start dropping lyrics. When you just put her in front of a mic, she sounds great.

          • Thomas

            Yeah, she sings ballads and midtempos really well live, yet she has so many great dance songs that she can’t sing because choreography or even just moving a lot seems to send her voice off lol Stick to standing or just walking slowly and singing Rih. Otherwise just lipsynch it lol

        • lbl

          Bleats like a goat… Lol

          I think that quality is one of the things that makes her so popular actually. She has a distinct voice. It seems it’s really difficult for the female artists without them to hit it big. Personally, I don’t care about great live singing from pop artists. If I can jam to your song we’re good.

          • Glam Dixie

            The majority of folks must agree with you just judging by the sheer number of mediocre singers that are so popular today.

          • Thomas

            What’s funny is I’m not crazy about most pop stars who can’t sing very well like Katy Perry, Ke$ha and Britney Spears. Yet Rihanna does it for me for some reason. I recogize that some of it is her beauty and modeling capabilities, but I also like her unique voice whether it’s autotuned or she is singing well live (which has occurred sometimes believe it or not). It doesn’t sound like anybody else. I also really like her personality in that she seems to not give a phuck about whether people like or approve of her choices. I’m very self conscious, so I envy her in that way. She also just seems fun and down to earth – somebody you would want to have a good time with. Singing quality has never been the most important factor for me though. Mariah has (or actually had) one of the best voices of all time, but I always found most of her music kind of boring. Lyrics and production are more important to me, followed by the ability to be entertaining. Madonna has only had a decent voice at best, but she had great, well-written songs and has always been a great entertainer. Same with Janet Jackson. And J.Lo can’t really sing, but she’s a great entertainer as well. Rihanna can’t dance nearly as well as them, but I think she has some legitimately memorable songs (S.O.S, Unfaithful, Umbrella, Don’t Stop the Music, Disturbia, Rude Boy, Russian Roulette, Only Girl in the World, We Found Love, Stay, Love the Way You Lie) and she has a vibrant, magnetic personality and great style. I do love good, talented artists like Aretha, Diana Ross and the Supremes, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Carole King, Joni Mitchell, Simon & Garfunkel, Fleetwood Mac, Donna Summer, Whitney Houston, Michael Jackson, Sade, David Bowie, Adele and Kelly Clarkson, just to name a few. But for my pop stars I tend to care about first, how good their songs are, and second, how good/interesting their fashion/style and personalities are. Hence my love for Madonna, Kylie Minogue, Janet Jackson and Rihanna, none of whom have great voices.

          • Glam Dixie

            It sounds like she really speaks to you on many different levels and I think that’s great. Everyone should have someone like that, I know I do and no one else I know thinks he is nearly is as amazing as I do but that’s ok. I cried last month when I saw him live for the first time, I was just so overwhelmed to be seeing and hearing him in person. It was amazing. You don’t have to justify your love of Rihanna for anyone.

          • RescueMe23

            Yes, we get it. You love Rhianna..

          • Thomas

            Sorry, but as you can see, I like a lot of other artists too, many of them supremely talented. I listed them in my comment!

            ETA: Also, you didn’t have to be so dismissive.

        • jilly_d

          yes to all of that.

    • jilly_d

      “bleating” – thank you. no other word so perfectly sums up how I feel about her voice.

      • Glam Dixie

        I think credit for that goes to Michael Slezak, the reviewer from TVLine. I’m pretty sure he’s the one that used bleating to describe her voice but it’s so perfect.

    • boweryboy

      Glam Dixie and jilly_d I love you guys for your posts. I don’t get the appeal to her “singing” as well. No offense to anyone who is a fan of her, I just don’t get it.

      On a slightly related note one of my favorite underground music artists is Maria Minerva and the partner has a similar reaction. He says, “I don’t understand why you like this. I feel like she’s shrieking at me nonstop for forty-five minutes.” To Minerva’s credit she at least acknowledges the fact that she isn’t a good singer. So I totally understand different strokes for different folks but Rihanna’s international success illudes me.

      She should definitely stick to modeling. It’s her forte.

      • Glam Dixie

        Mr Glam Dixie and I have VERY different taste in music. Our thing is, he’ll hear something I like and say, You have terrible taste in music and I’ll say, No, YOU have terrible taste in music. And of course reverse it when I have to listen to his music. This has been going on for 27 years.

  • The Versatile Chef

    She’s serving up some Josephine Baker realness in that last shot. Brava, Ri.

  • Belvane

    Tilda doesn’t need to worry. Rihanna is gorgeous, but she is nowhere near the Swinton stratosphere.

    • Gatto Nero

      They are alien creatures from different planets.

  • hellkell

    She’s the First Slayer!

    • Sobaika


  • BlairBear

    I never really get the appropriation critique. Nearly every culture has stolen and repurposed elements of cultures they have come into contact with. I think pure culture like pure texts is a nice idea but doesn’t have much basis in reality

    • Bexxx

      Check out the Pharrell cover shot & Katy Perry Rolling Stone posts for some really excellent discussions on cultural appropriation that will explain why cultural appropriation is different than cultures borrowing elements from other cultures.

      • Thomas

        Which do you think this is? It tiptoes right up to the line, but I’m not sure it goes over. It doesn’t bother me as much as the Pharrell or Katy Perry instances, yet it still vaguely feels like appropriation. I think it’s very good artistically and I love Rihanna and think she’s a great model, so I think that’s why I want to give it a pass.

        • Bexxx

          I feel basically the same way- and I think my discomfort with the photos is less because of appropriation and more due to the way they exoticize and “other” her in a way I don’t think they would with a white artist. However I do think there’s an artistic vision and she’s seriously rocking it- so I too am inclined to give it a pass (not that I am in ANY way the authority on this, I’m open to other interpretations). I was commenting more because it seemed that BlairBear was dismissing the concept of appropriation entirely, and I think the BKs have provided REALLY good insight into the issue in previous threads.

    • Annistella

      There is a wide gulf between cultural appreciation and cultural appropriation. The difference is history and power. You used an important word – stolen. While there is no such thing as a ‘pure’ idea, or text, or fashion, colonization has made Western Anglo culture supreme and powerful. This is not an artists commune, with a free and equal exchange of ideas to inspire, these images and symbols were harvested from other minorities and sub-cultures with no reciprocation. I raise three issues (amongst a plethora) that rankle me most (1) other people – white or not – can take off their costume and return to everyday life without the discrimination or stigma commonly associated with those cultural expressions (2) they commercially profit from these costumes with no acknowledgement of their artistic debt to those before them. The corporations behind Rihanna, Katy Perry, the Rolling Stones, the Eagles, and Madonna enforce copyright law over their intellectual property as though it is ‘pure’. Yet they freely took/take from artists who had/have no such commercial might to contest this, and historically, some were not even recognised as a legal person ie. before abolition of slavery, or treaties depending on how colonization took place. Fashion is a form of art, hence these media representations
      should be subject to the same critique (3) It is BORING. It is dull. These are not pictures that move me or sear into my subconscious by challenging my normative assumptions about clothing (see post on recent Jean Paul Gaultier show). They are
      mediocre and not worthy of the space they get to occupy in dominant culture, especially as they consume others. >gets coat<

  • Sobaika

    There’s a spectrum to appropriation, you know? And power dynamics at play as well. This will never provoke the exact same eye-rolling nausea that Katy Perry or an Urban Outfitters headdress would because it’s not a direct commodification of a culture for one’s benefit and spectacle (like a stage show costume) and doesn’t entirely speak to the mockery and sexualization of one specific culture.

    I’m not saying it isn’t icky (especially since it fits so strongly into the Exotic Tribal Lady of Color shtick), just that there’s a spectrum.

    • Thomas

      Yeah, you definitely get the sense of cultural appropriation with this shoot, but to me it doesn’t feel as icky because it seems to be drawn from a few cultures and/or time periods rather than one specific culture and it feels artistically well done rather than just slapping on a costume and calling it a day.

      • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ Alicia

        … and because you love her. Which is why the “but my black/Indian/Cherokee friend doesn’t mind when I do/say/wear this” argument doesn’t wash when people make it. We forgive the people we love a lot and put the most positive spin on the things they do.

        I think she looks fabulous in these pictures, but they are unsettling.

        • Thomas

          I think you’re right about that. As I said, it definitely came off as vaguely appropriative to me, but I was willing to look past that. I do think the magazine, artistic/visual director and photographers are more to blame, but she did agree to do the shoot. I just don’t see it as the same as Katy Perry appropriating cultures for her own performances and concerts though. In that case, Katy helped come up with the vision, so I think that’s still worse.

        • sugarkane105

          This isn’t the first time for Rihanna either. She has appropriated Asian cultures and dressed as a geisha in a music video, which in particular I think is worse than this photo spread. People seem to give her a pass because she’s a fashionista or something.

  • MissusBee

    She looks great. Lady of colour + ‘cannibal chic’ feels a bit unnecessary, but she’s done ‘sexy hijab’, so what the hey. Ri could do normcore in an office conference suite and kill it, but I’m guessing that idea didn’t get past the editorial meeting.

  • SophieCollier

    This is more Clan of the Cave Bear than anything. Great series! The photos, I mean. Not the books.

    • Sarah

      Not a fan of prehistoric porn, I take it? 😉

      • marlie

        Wait – wha? Aren’t those children’s books??

        • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ Alicia

          YA rather than children’s books I think. There’s rape & stuff.

        • Sarah

          Most decidedly NOT.

          • marlie

            Huh. I’d heard the title for years, and for some reason just assumed so. Thanks for the info.

          • Sarah

            They are big gigantic novels – about seven(?) of them, each close to a thousand pages. Ostensibly, they discuss the stone age and one particular woman’s story as she realizes she’s smarter than the previous form of hominid around, and then searches for others like her. The thing is, she finds them, and then over the course of all those thousands of pages, she has a lot of cavegirl sex.

          • Constant Reader

            And she invents everything. Horseback riding, negotiating in relationships, maybe gardening (I can’t remember). She invents all the things.

          • Sarah

            But of course. All the things! Because, while being possessed of velvety folds of lady junk, she is also a prehistoric genius.

          • http://foodycat.blogspot.co.uk/ Alicia

            I think the series is called “Children of…” something. which may have pushed your subconscious in that direction.

    • Anique Ashraf

      the books are pretty fun too! and that’s exactly what I thought as well!

  • FibonacciSequins

    I don’t know that this styling draws from any particular culture. It seems more costume-y (please correct me if you know different, anyone). Great collaboration with Mert and Marcus. She has incredible presence on camera.

    • Thomas

      It looks like a combination of tribal, early human and inuit/eskimo to me.

      • FibonacciSequins

        Right, it seems a mish-mash of different cultures, but nothing stands out to me as specifically identifiable. More like a fantasy than anything else.

        • Thomas

          I think that’s why it doesn’t bother me all that much, as opposed to a Native American headdress or geisha wardrobe.

          • FibonacciSequins

            Yes, that’s my reaction too.

        • Gatto Nero

          If it is appropriative, it’s drawing from too many sources to seem exploitative somehow. She just looks like a primal and fierce goddess figure to me.

  • stubbornthoughts

    That second one might haunt me in my dreams tonight…and I might love it.

  • Anique Ashraf

    I believe you. The fact that she can work this immediately brought to mind the fact that she worked a red lip and a simple red dress on Vogue a few months ago. She is versatile like no one’s business.

  • WaterGhost

    Phenomenal makeup and colouring. The reference culture for the shoot is 6th Century Viking Swimsuit Edition.

  • Kirstin McAulay

    Could have sworn that the cover said ‘must-have boobs’

  • ktr33


  • PinkyK

    She is so fierce that now I’m kinda creeped out! *locks all doors turn on outdoor lights…”

  • NinjaCate


    • somebody blonde

      Oh man, I just went to look. Thanks for mentioning it, I wouldn’t have known!

    • boweryboy

      LAWD YES!!!!! Fab. U. Lous.

  • marlie

    I’m… not a fan. These are certainly striking (honestly, it’s all about the face), but the styling and the actual photos themselves don’t really do anything for me.

  • stellavision

    This is so bad, but the way the photo was cropped in the “Trending on TLo” banner, I at first thought this was some pregnant celebrity’s ultrasound.

  • boweryboy

    Have you guys seen the editorial of her with Naomi Campbell and Iman!!??? I believe it’s in the same issue. She irks me to no end, but talk about WOW!!!

    • Thomas

      She certainly holds her own with them. They all look sublime. And I can’t believe Iman is in her 50s! That bitch (I mean goddess) never ages! I hope the Uncles post that one tomorrow. It’s not as artistic as this, but they’re certainly all giving amazing face.

  • Coco Chanel

    So she’s not a cover girl but janelle Monae is? Smh

  • Julie Chase

    I still don’t get her. She’s gorgeous, but her style and model appeal are just lacking for me.

  • Joey Melliza

    up yours gaga!

  • Columbinia

    Wolf Woman? High Priestess of Yeti? Goddess of the Night Beasts? I’m actually a little frightened by this.

  • fromanotherplanet

    I love the cover but I do not like the pictures: very stagey and not enough expression.

  • RescueMe23

    The way you guys feel about Julia Roberts and Taylor Swift? THAT is how I feel about her. Contrived…contrived…contrived…

  • Mary Elizabeth Poytinger Baume


  • sweetlilvoice

    I like that her mouth is closed in every photo! It’s a refreshing change from the standard celeb spreads. Also, did she get to pet the wolves?

  • KirFla

    God damnit, I love her.

  • Kent Roby

    Rhi is absolutely stunning, but I would have loved to see a variety of expressions in these pictures.

    • Judy_J

      Agreed. She should have more than one “expressionless” expression in her repertoire.

  • AmeliaEve

    Modacrylic Night at the Museum.

  • http://www.redriverhistorian.com texashistorian

    Those cave women sure had some mad skills! And I sure hope that’s not real fur.

  • Nicole

    Thank you. She’s a supermodel. Exactly.

  • Miranda Reseigh

    OMG Princess Mononoke!!!!!!!!!!

  • golden_valley

    This looks like one of Tyra Bank’s set ups in America’s Next Top Model, a ton of strange makeup and equally strange costuming. Rhianna wins!!!

  • http://fibonaccisequins.storenvy.com/ Danielle

    Striking as hell. Not sure if it totally falls under the scope of appropriation, but I’m getting whiffs of just flat out racism.

  • kategs

    chin down, eyes glazed, lots of layers of very expensive clothing. Not doing it for me at all.

  • Lattis

    For me, a great model is someone who makes me want to be her in the story she’s telling to the camera. And, boy howdy, does she do that for me with these photos.

  • Clash D

    Great editorial and styling. But I hate the blurry cover. I know it’s supposed to be edgy and whatnot, but I just hate it anyway. It’s headache inducing.

  • Arelis Victor

    The second shot is pure Princess Mononoke!

  • Kikishua

    Love the make up! Well, maybe not the pink forehead in the second pic.