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F THE team at Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret were not al­ready fret­ting about where to start with this year’s fash­ion show in our woke, #time­sup/#metoo era, then the scenes in Brook­lyn this week should have had them rip­ping feath­ers from the brand’s iconic an­gel wings in panic.

Wed­nes­day night saw New York Fash­ion Week close in spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion as singer Rihanna un­veiled her Sav­age x Fenty AW 18 lin­gerie col­lec­tion.

Other de­sign­ers had spent the pre­vi­ous few days show­cas­ing spring/ sum­mer looks for next year.

But Rihanna is not other de­sign­ers. And it quickly be­came clear this was no or­di­nary show.

When she launched her in­ti­mates line in May – less than a year af­ter launch­ing her cos­met­ics line Fenty Beauty – the chart-top­per promised that it would be di­verse, in­clu­sive and cham­pion body pos­i­tiv­ity. And no-one could ac­cuse Wed­nes­day’s show of fall­ing short of that com­mit­ment.

There were white mod­els, black mod­els, mixed race mod­els, tall mod­els, short mod­els, plus-size mod­els, slim mod­els and mus­cu­lar mod­els. Yes, there were mod­els with brown and blonde hair but there were also ones with green and pink.

Two of the mod­els were even heav­ily preg­nant.

It wasn’t the first time we have seen a mum-to-be in a fash­ion show, Jour­dan Dunn, Lily Aldridge and Irina Shayk all walked run­ways with ba­bies on board. But it was def­i­nitely the first time we have seen a model dis­play­ing quite so much baby bump as Rihanna’s muse, 22-yearold Slick Woods, did this week.

The gap-toothed model of the mo­ment, ap­peared in just a cut­away body suit, nip­ple cov­ers and lacy stock­ings. A brave look, but boy did she own it.

Yes, there were a few fa­mil­iar faces in the shape of the Ha­did sis­ters and Joan Smalls but that did noth­ing to di­lute the over­all ef­fect of the show which lived up to the brand’s name, in sav­aging longheld con­cep­tions about what is sexy.

Main­stream think­ing has for years steered us to­ward the tou­sle-haired, perky­boobed, long-limbed, uber-tanned look we see at the Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret shows.

Its ‘An­gels’ may boast of feel­ing em­pow­ered on the run­way – skin all oiled up and shim­mer­ing – but as we know from the be­hind the scenes ex­posés, look­ing like that re­quires care­ful eat­ing and hours of work in the gym.

The store’s cus­tomers may pre­dom­i­nantly be women (and teenage girls) but it is a look geared to­wards the ‘male gaze’.

Rihanna, as you might ex­pect from some­one who has been at the top of her game for more than 15 years, is over car­ing about the male gaze.

Speak­ing to Vogue when she launched Sav­age x Fenty, the 31-year-old de­clared: “Women should be wear­ing lin­gerie for their damn selves. I can only hope to en­cour­age con­fi­dence and strength by show­ing lin­gerie in an­other light.” Her New York show was a case of ev­ery­one’s favourite good girl gone bad go­ing on with her bad gal self.

Now it’s time for the rest of the fash­ion world to catch up.

The floor is yours Vic­to­ria’s Se­cret...

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