It was a little less than a week ago when Rihanna mashed up the internet with her beautifully colorful Crop Over costume. You couldn’t scroll through your social media without seeing the Bajan beauty looking more beautiful than ever in her native Barbados.
This left many wanting to know how she always seems to shine bright like a diamond during the festivities in amazing and artistic costumes.
We spoke with Lauren Austin, the self-taught designer and the mastermind behind Rihanna’s most memorable Crop Over costumes, and she gave us some great insight into how RiRi gets her iconic looks.
The Trinidadian, who now resides in Barbados, has been designing costumes for seven years. Lauren used her talent to build a serious following for her creative designs and has been working with RiRi since 2013 to deliver us Kadooment Parade perfection.
“I met Rihanna through Matthew Ashby and Rorrey Fenty in 2012, and I designed for her in 2013. Rihanna fell in love with my aesthetic, and subsequently I was contacted to design her costume for the years she played Mas [leading the masquerade band] in Barbados, 2015 and 2017,” Lauren shared exclusively with BET.
The collaboration between the pop star and Lauren seems to be a perfect match with consistently trending appearances.
“Rihanna chose the color combination, and she advised on her preferences,” Lauren said of the design process.
Creation of festival and carnival costumes is not easy work. The costumes, which average in price from $1,800 to $2,500, can take some serious time to perfect.
“People think production and pricing of costumes along with the execution of the Crop Over experience comes easily. Much planning in the details can become tedious as there are many factors to consider: conceptualizing a theme, designing the prototypes, replicating and mass production of costumes and preparing for the road experience,” Lauren said. “For [costume] prototypes, it takes three months, and mass production takes at least three to five months.”
Although many costumes end up “home as souvenirs,” Lauren takes her art seriously and aims to create perfection.
As for where the inspiration comes from for each design, it’s simple: “Life encounters and experiences.”
If you are interested in learning more about Lauren and her designs, visit her on Instagram: Lauren by Lauren Designs or Aura Experience. Or visit her website to view more of her stylish designs: Aurafacropova.com
(Photo from left: Islandpaps / Splash News, 247PAPS.TV / Splash News, Sandy Pitt/Splash News)
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