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Rihanna's style busts all the rules

  • Story Highlights
  • Rihanna wants to crush the idea of not wearing brown and black together
  • Her light complexion gave her trouble fitting in at school in Barbados
  • Singer's new four-bedroom home decor in Los Feliz to be inspired by India
  • "If I had to come back in another form, it would be as my dog," Rihanna says
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By George Epaminondas
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( -- From barefoot tomboy to fashion supernova, fearless pop renegade Rihanna lives to bust all the rules.

"I draw inspiration from just about anything," the singer says. "I sketch, clip pictures and scribble ideas."

"I love the heavy chain over this pretty dress -- it's exactly the way I would do it," says Rihanna.

What are some rules you'd like to crush?

The idea of not wearing brown and black together seems so dated. The other day I wore a black T-shirt, black Nobody jeans, a brown leopard-print belt by Dolce & Gabbana, and brown Giuseppe Zanotti shoes, and it looked awesome.

Also the rule about not matching your makeup to your outfit. I do that onstage, matching red lipstick to a bright red jacket or neon-pink eye shadow to a pink jumpsuit. And I also love to mix prints.

We've had the Meg, the Jennifer, and now people ask for the Rihanna at salons. Will you be switching it up again?

The first time I heard people were asking for the Rihanna, it was really flattering and maybe a little strange. It caught me by surprise, but now I feel it's a very cool thing. I don't feel the pressure to change it up again at all. I like it, as they like it.

Can you talk about your style obsessions and how your look has evolved over the years?

It has evolved without my even noticing it. Lately I'm obsessed with Thierry Mugler... Grace Jones inspires me. She is the most iconic woman ever, in my eyes. She has extraordinary style and she's fearless. I love designer Martin Margiela; Kanye West told me about him. I also like Dsquared, Chloé, Zac Posen...

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But you weren't always a fashion maven? Growing up in Barbados, you were a tomboy.

I wore my brother's clothes, dresses with sneakers, or no shoes at all. I would always get into trouble with my mom. She would say things to scare me like, "You're going to get cut!"

But I couldn't help it. I would climb trees, steal mangoes, catch birds--silly things that were fun to us at the time. My cousin and I were the only girls in the group. We would have to stand up for ourselves because the guys didn't want us around.

You stood out in Barbados because of your light complexion. Do you remember having trouble fitting in at school?

Definitely. It made me angry... For the first six years of school, I would go home traumatized. The harassment continued to my very last day of elementary school. High school was better.

I read that your mom owns a boutique and your dad works at a garment factory -- it seems you have the Rihanna fashion line already partly sewn up.

[Giggles] Well I am working on that right now. It takes a lot of effort, and I want to be involved with every step of the process.

What do you do for kicks in L.A.?

I don't go out much. I'm moving into a new four-bedroom home in Los Feliz that I'm excited about. Parts of it will be inspired by India. I love things like canopy beds, printed fabrics and Spanish touches. Then I can stay at home and cook West Indian dishes like callaloo [stewed greens]. But I do want a sports car--as soon as I get my license.

Who knew you were so domestic. Wait a minute. You're such a rebel. In the video for "Take a Bow," you drive a car.

I have my Barbadian license, just not my American one.

How will you celebrate your 21st birthday?

Don't scare me! I have till February. I feel like I have so much more to accomplish before I'm 21. No party plans yet. Many showbiz types say, "Don't ever read your own press," but you do, even the online stuff.

What's the kookiest thing you've read about yourself?

The Grammy thing -- that I brought Jay-Z on stage and Beyoncé was upset, which is so ridiculous. Or the idea that I've had breast implants -- I don't even have much cleavage. It was just the dress! So yes, I read about myself and about everybody else in the gossip pages. It's comedy to me; I laugh about it.

The tattoo behind your ear is a Pisces symbol -- two fish swimming head to tail in a circle--which represents life after death. If possible, what would you be reincarnated as?

If I had to come back in another form, it would be as my dog, DJ. He gets the best treatment, all the attention in the world, and he's so adorable. Plus, he goes everywhere I can take him.

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