An exhibition dedicated to divas has opened at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum. Among the exhibits are dozens of extravagant outfits from some of today’s brightest women. From the stage costumes of Cher and Tina Turner to the iconic looks of Marilyn Monroe and the Vivienne Westwood gown which Adele wore on the cover of British Vogue in 2021. And singer Rihanna’s outfits have a special place in the exhibition. This is not because the organizers wanted to give her a distinction among the rest or to underline her special importance. The point is that Rihanna, who is preparing to become a mother for the second time, set one condition to the museum’s management – her outfits must not be caught by photographers or amateurs. And especially not to be captured by phone cameras.

We were given little explanation other than “it’s an artist’s request”, and personally I can’t even think of a possible excuse. These dresses are here because she has already been photographed in them in a million different looks,” the museum staff bewailed.

Looking, but not photographing, visitors to the exhibition can look at the Pope-style dress Rihanna wore to the Met Gala in New York in 2018, and the nude gown adorned with more than 200,000 Swarovski crystals she wore at the 2014 Council of Fashion Designers of America Awards. Also on display is the singer’s see-through dress from the 2023 Academy Awards, the black Balenciaga beanie hat and coat she wore to the Met Gala 2021, and a grey and white ensemble from her 2016 world tour.