People have taken issue with Rihanna's Met Gala dress and things are getting heated
Pop-star, fledgling entrepreneur, and perhaps the sartorial icon of the decade, it seems as if Rihanna can do no wrong. As Time magazine asserted, "It's a fact universally acknowledged that Rihanna is the queen of the annual Met Gala." And yes, from becoming a popular meme - the most famous iteration of which saw the Umbrella star's Guo Pei number become an omelette - to having the entirety of the event break into applause upon her arrival, it's evident that Rihanna is the celebrity to watch when it comes to the entertainment industry's most avante-garde affair.
This year's theme, Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, saw Hollywood's finest decked out in bedazzled headpieces, spectacular trains, and all sorts of crowns, crosses, and wings - fusing the secular world of high-fashion with signifiers of the Catholic faith.
And naturally, Rihanna toppled the competition by becoming the female Pope that the Vatican has never had. The Barbadian songstress wore a crystal and pearl-embellished Maison Margiela gown, which featured an overskirt split to reveal a mini-skirt. She accessorised with a matching jacket and mitre-esque hat - in what was the most literal, albeit stylistic take on this year's theme. But, of course, all the acclaim didn't come without its fair share of backlash...
While Rihanna, who co-chaired the event with Anna Wintour, Amal Clooney, and Donatella Versace, was quick to defend her outfit choice by claiming that it would have been a "sin" not to have worn the show-stopping piece, sections of the religious community were not pleased by the 30-year-old's ensemble, denouncing it as "disgusting" and "offensive".
One critic took to Twitter to write, "Rihanna I love you but showing up with a pope head piece is so offensive to me. As someone raised in a catholic household I think the #MetGala2018 is a mockery of Christian religion and highly disrespectful on so many levels." Another corroborated, "So you can't wear an Native American outfit for Halloween because it's offensive, but Rihanna can dress like the Pope and she gets praised (???). Not only is she dressed as the Pope, her outfit sexualises it. Ok."
Others pointed out that it was problematic to use religious garb as a "costume". "So I guess it’s ok to use Catholicism as a costume for Rihanna? This is beyond offensive!!!!," one social media user asserted, while another added "Wow Rihanna is serving appropriated looks hunney! The insensitivity tho.... Like so many other looks meet the theme without being offensive, but by wearing the Papal Mitre? Really?"
Rihanna's undisputed sartorial excellence has long been the admiration of the fashion industry and the internet. 2015's ensemble, a Guo Pei cape, was declared to be "the best Met Gala red carpet dress of all time" by Vogue editor, André Leon Talley. However, we think that her latest offering, irrespective of the backlash, has cemented her as a force to be reckoned with when it comes to red carpet styling.
Let's hope that next year's outfit choice will live up to her all-too-brief stint in the Papacy.