Everyone knows that the September issues of magazines are the biggest and most important of the year. (We didn’t need to watch The September Issue to know that). They show us what the most important trends for the upcoming season are. Judging by Rihanna‘s W magazine cover, this fall is all about septum piercings–and not much clothing, though accessories are very popular.
The cover was shot by famed photographers Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott and the headline describes Rihanna as “the world’s wildest style icon.” The “wild” aspect being translated here with some cultural appropriation, the top of a Donna Karan dress and a Meadowlark septum ring. According to NY Mag, Rihanna actually came to the shoot with her own “mental mood board” that was a mash-up of Grace Jones and Josephine Baker.
This isn’t the first time that Rihanna has showed off a piercing on the cover of a magazine. Who could forget her topless Lui cover that showcased her nipple piercing and was one of the last things she posted on her Instagram account? (RIP @badgirlriri)
The fashion spread features Rihanna gazing intensely at the camera in a variety of septum rings, heavy makeup, chunky jewelry and the occasional hat or dress, channeling different tribes from around the world.
No one can deny that the shots are strikingly beautiful, but I don’t know if Rihanna and her septum ring are going to land in the same cultural appropriation controversy that Pharrell did when he wore a Native American headdress on the cover of ELLE UK. (She’s going to upset PETA for sure, with all of that fur.) Rihanna is no stranger to critics and creating controversy, so even if she does cause a stir, I doubt she will be making a half-apology for the images. I don’t know what her septum ring will do, but hopefully it has its own PR team. RiRi’s and her nipples’ are busy enough.
Too see more photos from the issue, check out W magazine.
(Photos: W Magazine)