Did Rihanna Borrow the Ungaro Pasties?

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Published February 1, 2011

Rihanna’s new video, for her track “S&M,” was just released; it’s another collaboration with director Melina Matsoukas, who did the “Rude Boy,” “Rockstar 101,” and “Hard” videos (along with a slew for Beyoncé, Kylie Minogue, and Whitney Houston songs). With lyrics like “sticks and stones may break my bones, but chains and whips excite me,” one inevitably recalls the charges of domestic violence against Chris Brown two years ago. The pop star, whose sexuality often speaks loudly through her songs but can be reticent onscreen and in-person, uses this video as an opportunity to confront her past head-on.

Beginning with “Video Killed the Radio Star”-style staggered head-bop, Ri-ri ties up the press and outfits them with gag balls while one writes “domestic violence” on a notepad. Then she stands provocatively in front of a screen running headlines about her “daddy issues” and seductively eats various pieces of fruit. The references get more specific from there. Rihanna’s thrown into a press conference and wrapped in plastic, but smiles at the camera as the press photographs her; she walks Perez Hilton like a dog and offers a female reporter a kiss after tying her up.

The outfits show Rihanna negotiating her sexy but not necessarily provocative style: pink latex in ’50s silhouettes, a heart eye patch, and assorted thigh-high boots. But we noted something out of the ordinary here—do we spot the first use of Lohan-era Ungaro pasties?