ELLE May Cover Shoot: Rihanna
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Intro_v011 of 21
Hot Spot2 of 21
For her ELLE cover shoot, Rihanna went bold and blond and wore couture pieces from Atelier Versace and styles from Balmain and Jil Sander.
Rihanna on her style: "Everything I do, I do because I want to. Sometimes I'll wear something and think, I'm going to get so much flack for this tomorrow, but if I want to wear it, I will. If I dress sexy, then I'm a slut; if I dress sophisticated, then I'm a grandma. At the end of the day, I just wear what I want to wear."
White Hot3 of 21
ELLE Creative Director Joe Zee created a Havana-like backdrop (actually a windswept ranch just north of Los Angeles), which set the scene for our sexy heroine's fiery affair with a salsa dancer.
Rihanna on her breakup with Brown: "It gave me guns. … They know more about me than I want them to know. It's embarrassing. But that was my opening. That was my liberation, my moment of bring it."
Joy Ride4 of 21
To get the star's hair glistening, Ursula Stephen, RiRi's hairstylist and longtime friend, smoothed the bold new locks with a conditioning mask.
Rihanna on her breakup with Brown (cont.): "There are layers and layers. Even the way I respond to things. I don't know why I was ever afraid of letting people know who I am. Because once I thought about it, I was like, You know what? You're rad."
Evening Hours5 of 21
Rihanna on finding a man: "I feel like it's hard for everybody! I don't think it has anything to do with being famous. There's just a major drought out there. I don't know. I guess I'm challenging, because my job seems to affect every relationship I have or try to have. Even with people I think should get it, you know? That seems to be a big factor; it's always an issue. But I just need to find the person who balances me out, because then things like my schedule won't matter. I've done it before, so I know I can do it again."
Tango for Two6 of 21
Makeup artist Mylah Morales chose black eyeliner to give the cover girl a sultry look—the perfect choice for a sexy dance set to the salsa music playing on set.
Wish Upon a Star7 of 21
Photographer Tom Munro opted for a Red Digital Cinema camera, filming the entire shoot as a movie, Hollywood-style.
End of the Affair8 of 21
Rihanna works her sky-high Dior heels as she walks the set's dirt roads.
Risky Business9 of 21
Unafraid to rock the boat, Rihanna takes a fashion risk in a pair of Emilio Pucci pajamas while attending the Tokyo premiere of Battleship. And getting back to her roots, the previously blond star rocked a half-shaved look—one that she debuted back in 2010.
Trend Forecasting10 of 21
Ever the trendsetter, the singer takes New York City by storm in Givenchy's Iris tee (this season's "it" print) and Alexander Wang combat boots, beloved by the fashion crowd.
Neon Sign11 of 21
Never one to shy away from color, Rihanna lights up the night in a chartreuse satin dress and shades while out and about at a London nightclub.
Spokes Person12 of 21
Clad in down-to-there Givenchy Haute Couture and sky-high studded heels, the stylish singer makes an ultra chic mark at the 2012 Brit Awards, especially with those over-the-elbow leather gloves!
Seventies Revival13 of 21
At this year's Grammy Awards, the chanteuse sports new blond waves and a Scarface-inspired Giorgio Armani gown, whose design she collaborated on.
Going Green14 of 21
Wearing a plunging, custom forest-green Giorgio Armani gown and Tom Ford python heels, the singer stuns at Stella McCartney's fall presentation.
Morning Glory15 of 21
Even at 3AM, RiRi manages to look her best. While strutting the streets of Paris in the early hours, she dons stylish thigh-highs, a fedora and a ladylike tote.
Get the Boot16 of 21
Wearing three layers of denim and thigh-high fishing boots, Rihanna proves that she can pull off practically any style combo while spotted in London.
Lace Case17 of 21
If ever there's a time to put your best fashion foot forward, then it's at the Met Gala, and Rihanna turns heads in a sexy lace Stella McCartney gown and a romantic Rapunzel-length braid.
Follow Suit18 of 21
Although she usually opts for crazy color, Rihanna rocks an all-white Max Azria pantsuit to the Billboard Music Awards. Of course, we can always count on her to make a statement somehow, and she did just that with her blazing red hair.
Join the Army19 of 21
The performer chooses a camouflage print jacket for Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Palm Springs, Calif.
Miami Vice20 of 21
In South Beach, the songstress wears this Florida city staple—a white mesh dress—but stands out with her signature fiery red hair.
Good Sport21 of 21
Even when she's dressed down, she's still front and center—opting for a casual, white open-weave sweater and a red bouffant hairstyle at the NBA All-Star Game.