You had to be cautious walking into Rihanna’s Fenty x Puma show at the Park Avenue Armory tonight (Sep 10th). The venue was shrouded in almost complete darkness, save for the glow of overhead lights that shone on the glittering pink mountains of sand in the middle of the space. In fact you could have easily missed the scarily steep ramps that were sitting at each end of the runway altogether. The sound of engines revving backstage, however, was unmistakable. And as the lights went up and the fog machines began to blow, the vrooming got louder and boom! A motorcycle sped out from the curtains, flying through the air with a 360 flip and a perfect land on the other side. Three more motocross stuntmen followed: was this a fashion show or the Big Apple Circus?
It was, by and large, the jolt that New York Fashion Week needed after what has been a pretty subdued round of weekend shows. Rihanna’s event was primed to be a highlight, but few could have anticipated tonight’s breath-taking spectacle. After the jumps, spins, tricks, and parade of Fenty x Puma’s motocross-meets surf looks, the Bad Gal took her bow—or ride, we should say. She came in with her hands raised in the air, perched on the back of a motorcycle, blowing kisses to the elated crowd.