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Has Lady Gaga influenced Rihanna's style?

Rihanna gaga rihanna
A couple of years back, I wrote a story in The Times about how tame style had become in the music industry. Fast forward two years to Lady Gaga's blood-streaked torso and human-hair hats.

Though there are still plenty of pop stars playing it safe in the style department, Gaga's wacky style has brought total freakdom back into the music arena (finally!) -- and has opened the door for other female artists to cultivate their own deviant looks.

Rihanna, in fact, didn't start flirting with S&M gear (aside from the occasional Herve Leger "bondage" dress) until Gaga started making the scene. At the 2008 Grammys, the pretty ingenue wore a flirty purple cocktail dress by Zac Posen, her newly shorn hair the only subversive thing about her look.

Since then, she's gone from tame to totally outlandish -- rocking such oddities as lace blindfolds, jumpsuits composed of mere strips of fabric, jackets and dresses with huge metal spikes mounted on the shoulders and leather bustiers dripping with metal chains.

Is Rihanna trying to out-freak Lady G.? From the get-go, the polished pop tart was fashion-forward. Her enviable figure and adorable face meant designers were always going to be throwing themselves at her feet. But somewhere along the way -- post-Gaga -- she (or her notoriously protective team of handlers) made the decision to take her look several steps beyond red-carpet pretty.

The first real indication that she was finding her way in more costume-y waters was back in May 2009, when she donned that crazy tuxedo featuring clown-sized puffed sleeves for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute Gala. That outfit -- in all its loopy weirdness -- seems downright demure compared to the bondage-like ensembles she's been rocking lately.

Do you think Lady Gaga's loco style has (consciously or subconsciously) spurred Rihanna into new feats of freaky fashion? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.

--Emili Vesilind


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Photos: Lady Gaga fashion

Photos: Lady Gaga, center, at the 2009 MTV Video Music Awards in September (credit: Christopher Polk / Getty Images). Rihanna at the 2008 Grammys, left (credit: Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times), and in concert at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom, right (credit: Theo Wargo / Getty Images for the Island Def Jam Music Group).

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lady ga ga influenced no one with her wacky style.. she wears holoween costumes, rihanna actually wears what others can wear.. rihanna has the better style over all..plz.. this blog is trash!

Oh yes definitely. I was wondering why no one was talking about this! Sometimes I think she crosses the line from being influenced into just plain copying.

"Rihanna, in fact, didn't start flirting with S&M gear until Gaga started making the scene>"

That's not true. If you look at some of her tour pic during the Umbrella era she was wearing weird over the top dominatrix outfits before anyone was thinking about Lady Gaga. Besides both Lady Gaga and Rihanna aren't wearing/doing anything that hasn't been done countless times before.


Rihanna was flirting with this style before Lady Gaga came out. On her last tour she wore lots of leather/dom catsuits and did performances where she cracked a whip around the stage. You should better research artist before you make claims like this. Lady Gaga is heavily influenced, make no doubts about it, but she is not an influence. Not yet, in any case.

I'm sorry but you can't just write an article that chooses to omit FACTS regarding these popstars. Rihanna pre Gaga - (S+M????)

Gaga has helped carve the path for out there fashion by bringing it to the masses and making it okay for Rihanna, Ciara, Beyonce, etc to continue pushing the envelope-- but by no way was she first. Research! This article is obviously heated Rihanna/Gaga fan base bait at best.

Rihanna TOTALLY rips off Gaga. She was very prim and proper before Gaga started stealing her audience.

Rihanna's costumes in her Good Girl Gone Bad tour were all S&M-inspired. The tour was before Lady Gaga even existed. So I disagree with the article.

Regardless of who wore what when, Lady Gaga is much more of a style icon than Rihanna, hence why she has garnered more attention for it. She looks better in designer clothes as well. Not hating on Rihanna, but Gaga in my opinion wins this fashion battle, even when she's over the top, it's about being creative and artistic to her.

Alright let me start off, Rihanna's nothing but a cheap Lady GaGa cop out. Instead of her sitting here and copying all of Lady GaGa's outfits, she should take the time out to realize what's her own personal style. Rihanna should go home and take a nap because honestly I'm OVER her.

I think this articel so ridiculous n' un founded! Rihanna has a better style than lady gaga! Of course accordance with sound quality n' taste of music! I luv riri

At least lady gaga can sing.

Oh gads. Who effen CARES?

It's not just Rihanna that Lady Gaga's influencing--it's almost everyone who's big in the music industry. Take a look at Beyonce with her over-the-top costumes from Thierry Mugler. And even for a while in the beginning of last year, Christina Aguilera started channeling LG when she showcased her "Keeps Gettin' Better" music video. And traveling across the Pacific Ocean to South Korea, female musicians are all sporting sharp shoulder pads and ripped up leggings, which Lady Gaga first started in 2008. I know they aren't as freaky as Lady Gaga herself, but this pop icon of our generation is certainly taking the fashion world in the entertainment world, shoot, the whole world, by a storm, and it's not just Rihanna who's blown away--it's everyone.

This is utter rubbish. i saw rihanna in concert in december 2007 at wembley arena, London, and she had all the leather, PVC, latex S+M gear way back then. check for yourselves. Lady GaGa was completely unknown until at least half a year after that. And Rihanna wears clothes to be sexy, or what she perceives to be sexy. Lady GaGa wears items that reflect the concept of her performances overall. She is part of the art herself. A canvas. Lady GaGa has a style that most will not understand, because most are not willing to look beyond the ideal of what a typical popstar "should" look like. I like Rihanna, but GaGa is amazing, out of her league in the fashion, art and talent stakes. Rihanna has a pretty face and an average voice. GaGa is a true artist who is able to compose and fine tune every part of her performance art. From the music to the lyrics to the choreography, to the fashion... to the ART. Which is the real issue here.

I definitely think Lady Gaga has influenced Rihanna, rihanna even said that in a interview. She "influenced" (got ripped off by) Christina Aguilara aswell. Then again she has influenced a ton of people since she came out.

yes and no because rhianna does have her own style but she does like lady gaga because gaga dosn't care what other people say and basically shows you the way she feels in her outfits and I think that's cool because we all need to express are selves other wise we go insane. And the whole rhianna coping gaga is not really true because gaga shows more of her body while rhianna will show some clevage but won't go over board on showing everything. But either way the both great artists

@ Jennett: "Keep Gettin' Better" came out before Lady Gaga blew up, so that's bull. And I agree with other posters, Rihanna started dressing edgy way before Gaga came on the scene. Gaga is unoriginal herself, so let's not start giving her credit for inventing the wheel. Oh, and dressing like crap isn't dressing "outside the box", it's dressing like crap, period. The music scene is so bad that people like Gaga can find great success when they otherwise would be considered nothing special. She is not a "genius" of any sort, not even of the marketing kind since it is unbelievably easy to fool sheep like the author of this crappy article and you guys.

Um...Stop right there. Christina Aguilera has been dressing crazy since the "Dirrty" video, and Rihanna was dressing crazy way before Gaga came out.

Lets Face It! Gaga is now bigger than Rihanna. All Rihanna fans will be saying she didnt take from Gaga and all Gaga fans will be saying she has. I shall speak TRUTHFULLY. Rihanna may have been "trying out" a new style but when Lady Gaga came on the scene it gave Rihanna confidence. I dont like reading comments bagging both the artists. Lady Gaga is all about the fashion and has been well before 2007 if you knew her from the begginning. Rihanna is fantastic also and is now trying out her own style. Lady Gaga gave Rihanna more confidence and that is it.

I used to be fond of Rihanna, until Lady Gaga appeared. I don't recall Rihanna dressing like this before Lady Gaga came out in the music industry. Beyonce was trying to pull off Lady gagas style in the Video Phone video. It was FAIL. So has Rihanna in the 'Hard' video. Absolute fail as well.Singers of this decade should get their own styles. I am just stating my opinion. (:

Finally light has been shedd where it needed to be shown...Riahnna bites Ms.Gaga..Its disgusting
Always Adrian*

Everybody need to stop rihanna has her own style she been dressing that way I love gaga and rihanna they both are influence in fashion so please stop being a hater.

Whatever! Rihanna was here before Lady Gaga. I love both, but I always love the original better. Rihanna was the first solo pop artist of the 21st century. Rihanna is the black Madonna. Lady Gaga is super cool but I don't see her lasting long. Rihanna has shown that she cam do any style wants. Crossover R&B artist who appeals to the masses, slowly reinventing herself into a queen of fashion while remaining edgy and on top of her game. Rihanna is in a class of her own. She can do any look. Lady Gaga looks absolutely horrible. At least Rihanna is generally beautiful.

There's a difference between dressing in bondage clothes/wearing odd/unusual outfits and being edgy. Lady Gaga hasn't just been doing bondage - if anything, she's been in undies/bra, fishnets and heels for quite some time and in overall odd, unusual pieces... not necessarily bondage. Rihanna rocked the bondage look, true, but it wasn't convincing. Bondage gear doesn't make you a "good girl gone bad"... it's the girl wearing them that does. Rihanna was never that convincing. Gaga has been convincingly edgy from the get-go.


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