Rihanna was named the 2014 Fashion Icon of the Year at the CFDA Awards Monday night in New York City. (Photo courtesy of Getty Images/ Larry Busacca)
Rihanna attends the 2014 CFDA fashion awards at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on June 2, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images)
Rihanna speaks onstage at the 2014 CFDA fashion awards at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on June 2, 2014, in New York City. (Photo by D Dipasupil/Getty Images)
Rihanna watching Game 2 of an Eastern Conference semifinal NBA basketball game between the Miami Heat and the Brooklyn Nets in Miami. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee, File)
Rihanna performing during the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
Rihanna during the 2012 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
Rihanna at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute gala benefit, celebrating Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada in New York. (AP Photo/Evan Agostini, File)
Rihanna at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute benefit gala celebrating “Charles James: Beyond Fashion” in New York. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Invision/AP, File)
Rihanna at the launch event for her debut fashion collection at River Island Oxford Street in London. (Photo by Jon Furniss/Invision/AP, File)
Rihanna arriving for the Jean Paul Gaultier ready-to-wear fall/winter 2014-2015 fashion collection in Paris. (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon, File)
Rihanna poses for photographers before the Dior ready-to-wear fall/winter 2014-2015 fashion collection in Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
Rihanna arriving for the Lanvin ready-to-wear fall/winter 2014-2015 fashion collection in Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
Rihanna at the 55th annual Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
Rihanna attending the NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Clippers in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Danny Moloshok, File)
Rihanna performing in Monaco during her “Diamonds World Tour” to Europe. (AP Photo/Lionel Cironneau, File)
Rihanna accepting the award for song of the year for “Stay” at the iHeartRadio Music Awards at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, File)
Rihanna attending the Dior Cruise 2015 Fashion Show at the Brooklyn Navy Yard in New York. (Photo by Brad Barket/Invision/AP, File)
Designer Zac Posen with singer Rihanna during a dress fitting in New York. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig, File)
Rihanna at the Roc Nation 2014 Pre-Grammy Brunch Celebration in Los Angeles. (Photo by Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP, File)
Rihanna watching Game 3 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series between the Brooklyn Nets and the Toronto Raptors in New York. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)
Rihanna arriving at Miu Miu’s ready to wear fall/winter 2014-2015 fashion collection in Paris. (AP Photo/Zacharie Scheurer, File)
Rihanna arriving at Chanel’s ready to wear fall/winter 2014-2015 fashion collection in Paris. (AP Photo/Zacharie Scheurer. File)
Rihanna attending Stella McCartney’s ready-to-wear fall/winter 2014-2015 fashion collection in Paris. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)
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Rihanna shined bright Monday night at the 2014 CFDA Awards, where the 26-year-old was named ‘Fashion Icon of the Year.’
The honor, which was presented by Vogue magazine Editor-in-Chief Anna Wintour, solidified the pop singer’s status as a fashion luminary.
Meanwhile, Wintour praised the pop star for her effortless head-to-toe looks and stunning ensembles.
“Rihanna speaks to her fans with her every look,” Wintour said. “And what she says to them — and I include all of us in that group — is that it’s fun to feel a little boyish one day and dress up like a dazzling diva the next. I think that’s what she was going for tonight,” she joked.
Wintour was referring to Rihanna’s grand entrance that evening wearing a glittering mesh gown that was sheer enough to leave little to the imagination. The dress was designed by Adam Selman, who made the gown out of 216,000 pieces of twinkling cut glass and embedded crystals.
Rihanna channeled famous jazz singer Josephine Baker for the look, which came complete with a matching cap and gloves along with a pale pink fur stole — collectively making it one of her boldest fashion looks yet.
“The point is to be audacious, even jaw-dropping or button-pushing — and yes, we know she enjoys pushing buttons — while remaining true to yourself,” Wintour said.
The CFDA Awards are an annual event that “recognizes the outstanding contributions made to American fashion by individuals from all areas of the industry and related arts, with awards being given for design excellence.”
The evening brought out some of fashion’s most influential leaders, designers and celebrities. Among the attendees was Solange Knowles, who made her first public appearance since the scandalous footage of her fighting Jay Z in an elevator was released.
The “Losing You” singer arrived at the awards with light make-up, big hair and a shimmering, metallic floor-length gown.
Activist Bethann Hardison was also honored for her efforts to help racially diversify the fashion industry.
Upon accepting her award, Rihanna credited fashion for always being her “defense mechanism.”
“I think fashion has been an outlet for me to express myself, to speak up, to say who I am and to be very loud about it at times,” she said. “And I just like to have fun with it.”
Rihanna’s key advice to being so fashion forward? Don’t follow rules.
“There are rules,” she said. “But rules are meant to be broken.”
Take a look at Rihanna’s style evolution in the slideshow above — and tell us: which was your favorite look?
Follow Lilly Workneh on Twitter @Lilly_Works