Just by gracing tonight’s Golden Globes with her presence, Rihanna stole the show. True to form, she dazzled as one-half of the night’s best dressed couple alongside boyfriend A$AP Rocky. Nominated for Best Original Song for her Black Panther single, “Lift Me Up,” the musician and mogul wore a custom black velvet Schiaparelli gown with a fittingly regal updo.
“Princess-Leia-meets-Hollywood-meets-Wakanda” is how RiRi described her hair look for tonight, according to her longtime hairstylist Yusef Williams.
The pair tends to rely on intuition when collaborating, and today was no different. While the dramatic silhouette of the Schiaparelli dress served as a jumping-off point—inspiring Williams to initially sketch out a higher-slung style—it was, believe it or not, Rihanna’s I-woke-up-like-this pigtails that ultimately steered the look. “When she walked in this morning to get ready, we just like looked at each other, and she was like, ‘Let’s just work with this.’” From there, Williams wove wires through the braids to add structure to the “powerful and sculptural” shape before layering silky, twisted lengths on top of the plaits. “At first she was like, ‘Okay, I don’t wanna look like Princess Leia,’ but in the end, we were like, ‘but what’s wrong with Princess Leia; she was fucking fierce,’” he recounts with a laugh. Then to add “a little Hollywood,” he sculpted a single-pin curl reminiscent of Josephine Baker’s signature C-shaped hair accent.
While virtually every look Rihanna and Williams craft together is a moment, he’s relishing a new kind of stage tonight at the Golden Globes and on the Hollywood award-show circuit. “This is new territory for us, but we still get to be daring and create these trend-setting moments,” he says. “That’s her magic; we don’t have to do any convincing. She’s always like, ‘Let’s turn in out.’” And turn it out they did.
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