Rihanna goes nearly nude at CFDA Awards

There's a reason Rihanna received fashion's highest honor Monday night: The woman is not afraid to take risks.

Case in point: the see-through dress she chose for the prestigious Council of Fashion Designers of America awards, where she was honored as 2014's Fashion Icon.

We won't show it here, but suffice it to say, the extremely sheer gown's frontal view (by designer Adam Selman) left little to the imagination. The shimmering star accessorized with 200,000 crystals, gloves, a thong and a strategically placed pink fur stole.

Watch the anchors react to Rihanna's dress 

Previous Fashion Icon award winners, who are voted on by members of the fashion-industry community, have included other celebs who like to push fashion's limits, including Johnny Depp, Lady Gaga, Iman, Kate Moss, Sarah Jessica Parker and Nicole Kidman. 

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Rihanna dared to bare at Monday night's event in NYC.

"Fashion is just a world of thrills. It's exciting. There's no rules," Rihanna said after happily accepting her stylish statuette from fashion arbiter and Vogue editor Anna Wintour. "Fashion should never be frustrating. It should be fun!"

  • Slideshow Photos

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    Image: 2014 Anna Wintour Costume Center Gala Benefit

    The rise of Rihanna

    The award-winning singer and style icon is a force in pop music.

  • Image: 2014 Anna Wintour Costume Center Gala Benefit

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    The rise of Rihanna -

    Pop star, fashionista and designer Rihanna has captivated the world with her unique voice and flair for style. Take a look back at her success — and bold outfits:


    Rihanna arrives for the 2014 Anna Wintour Costume Center Gala held at the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on May 5, 2014.

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  • Image: 2014 iHeartRadio Music Awards - Backstage & Audience

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    Rihanna at the 2014 iHeartRadio Music Awards in Los Angeles on May 1, 2014.

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  • Image: Rihanna Sighting In Paris

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    Rihanna poses in front of the Eiffel tower in Paris on March 5, 2014.

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    I see France -

    Rihanna wears various styles during Paris Fashion Week in early 2014.

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  • Image: Celebrity Sightings In New York City - April 28, 2014

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    Crop to it -

    Rihanna is seen outside Da Silvano in New York on April 28, 2014.

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    Thigh high -

    Rihanna arrives at the MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles on April 13, 2014.

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  • Image: Eminem, Rihanna

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    Dynamic duo -

    Eminem and Rihanna perform on stage at the MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles on April 13, 2014.

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  • Image: Singer Rihanna poses before the German designer Karl Lagerfeld Fall/Winter 2014-2015 women's ready-to-wear collection show for French fashion house Chanel during Paris Fashion Week

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    Rihanna poses for journalists after the Karl Lagerfeld Fall/Winter 2014-2015 show for Chanel during Paris Fashion Week on March 4, 2014.

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  • Image: BESTPIX: Celebrities At The Los Angeles Lakers Game

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    A family affair -

    Rihanna and her brother Rajad Fenty attend a basketball game between the Portland Trailblazers and the Los Angeles Lakers in Los Angeles on Dec. 1, 2013.

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  • Image: 2013 American Music Awards - Show

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    Rihanna performs onstage during the 2013 American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Nov. 24, 2013.

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    Rihanna performs on Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013, on the sidelines of the Formula One Singapore Grand Prix race weekend in Singapore.

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  • Madame Tussauds New York Unveils Never Before Seen Rihanna Wax Figure At Famed SoHo Tattoo Parlor

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    A wax figure of Rihanna is unveiled at tattoo parlor Sacred Tattoo in New York on July 11, 2013.

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  • Chanel: Front Row - Paris Fashion Week Haute-Couture F/W 2013-2014

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    Fashion plate -

    Rihanna attends the Chanel show as part of Paris Fashion Week Haute-Couture Fall/Winter 2013-2014 at Grand Palais on July 2, 2013 in Paris, France.

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  • Image: The 55th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Arrivals

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    Lady in red -

    Rihanna arrives at the 55th annual Grammy Awards at Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 10, 2013.

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    Shipshape -

    Rihanna, a cast member in the film "Battleship," poses for photographers at the American premiere of the film in Los Angeles on May 10, 2012.

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    The hair apparent -

    The many looks of Rihanna, from left: At the "Battleship" premiere in Los Angeles on May 10, 2012; at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles on Feb. 12, 2012; at the premiere of Michael jackson "The Immortal" in Los Angeles on Jan. 27, 2012; and performing on TODAY in New York's Rockefeller Center on May 27, 2011.

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    Gunning for an acting career -

    Rihanna star as Raikes in the sci-fi thriller "Battleship," in theaters in May 2012.

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  • Image: "Schiaparelli And Prada: Impossible Conversations" Costume Institute Gala

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    Rihanna attends the "Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations" Costume Institute Gala at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on May 7, 2012.

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  • Image: 2012 Coachella Music Festival - Day 3

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    Shoulders above -

    Rihanna gets a boost in the audience during day three of the 2012 Coachella Valley Music & Arts Festival at the Empire Polo Field in Indio, Calif., on April 15, 2012.

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  • The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards - Backstage And Audience

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    Pop pals -

    Rihanna and fellow singer Katy Perry pose in the audience at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards held at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Feb. 12, 2012.

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  • Rihanna Makes A Personal Appearance To Launch Her New Scent 'Reb'l Fleur'

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    Rihanna launches her new scent, Reb'l Fleur, at House of Fraser in London on Aug. 19, 2011.

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  • Image: Singer Rihanna performs on NBC's "Today" show in New York

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    Rihanna kicks off the 2011 TODAY Concert Series on May 27 with her No. 1 song "S&M" off her new album "Loud."

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  • Image: Popstars Final

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    Rihanna performs during the German TV show "Popstars You & I" final at the Koenigspilsener Arena in Oberhausen, Germany, on Dec. 10, 2009.

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    Rihanna appears on the January 2010 cover of GQ magazine. Rihanna's stunning looks have made the Barbados native a cover girl for magazines, as well as a pitchwoman for Cover Girl cosmetics.

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  • Image: Singer Rihanna arrives at the 2009 American Music Awards in Los Angeles

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    Awards night -

    Rihanna arrives at the 2009 American Music Awards in Los Angeles on Nov. 22, 2009.

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  • Image: Candids: November 23, 2009

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    Rihanna poses for photos at Best Buy in New York on Nov. 23, 2009, while promoting her new album, "Rated R."

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  • Image: Rihanna Launches Nokia X6 - Inside

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    Rihanna attends a party celebrating her birthday and the launch of the Nokia X6 at Mahiki nightclub in Mayfair, London, on Nov. 16, 2009.

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    Rihanna takes the stage after being named one of Glamour magazine's 2009 Women of the Year during an awards ceremony at Carnegie Hall in New York on Nov. 9, 2009.

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  • Image: Diane sawyer, Rihanna

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    Opening up -

    Diane Sawyer, left, interviews Rihanna about her relationship with ex-boyfriend Chris Brown and the beating she suffered at his hands on Feb. 9, 2009. The interview aired on "Good Morning America" on Nov. 5, 2009. "There are a lot of women who've experienced what I did ... but, not in the public," Rihanna said.

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    High style -

    Rihanna attends the Chanel Pret a Porter show as part of the Paris Womenswear Fashion Week Spring/Summer 2010 at Grand Palais in Paris on Oct. 6, 2009.

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    Rihanna arrives for the premiere of the film "Inglourious Basterds" in London on July 23, 2009.

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    Day in court -

    Rihanna stands with a lawyer inside Los Angeles Superior Court during a hearing in the Chris Brown felony assault case on June 22, 2009. Brown, below, pleaded guilty to assaulting his former girlfriend and was sentenced to 180 days of community labor.

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  • Image: Singer Rihanna sits courtside during Game 4 of NBA Finals basketball game in Orlando

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    Rihanna sits courtside during Game 4 of the NBA Finals basketball game between the Orlando Magic and the Los Angeles Lakers in Orlando, Fla., on June 11, 2009.

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  • "The Model As Muse: Embodying Fashion" Costume Institute Gala - Arrivals

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    Well suited -

    Rihanna attends "The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion" Costume Institute Gala at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York on May 4, 2009.

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  • Image: File photo of musicians Chris Brown and Rihanna during the Z100 Jingle Ball in New York

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    Happier times -

    Chris Brown and Rihanna perform during the Z100 Jingle Ball in New York on Dec. 13, 2008. Several hours before the two were to appear at the Grammy Awards on Feb. 9, 2009, a confrontation left Rihanna bloodied and bruised and Brown behind bars.

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  • 2008 American Music Awards - Red Carpet

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    Bright lights, big city -

    Rihanna arrives at the 2008 American Music Awards at Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles on Nov. 23, 2008.

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  • Image: Frida Giannini, Madonna, Rihanna

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    Stylish pals -

    From left, Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini, Madonna and Rihanna attend a Gucci UNICEF dinner at The Oak Room at the Plaza in New York on Nov. 19, 2008.

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  • Conde Nast Media Group's Fifth Anniversary Of Fashion Rocks - Show

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    Rock 'n' rollers -

    Singers, from left, Mariah Carey, Mary J. Blige, Beyonce, Miley Cyrus, Rihanna, Ashanti, Natasha Bedingfield and Nicole Scherzinger perform on stage during the Conde Nast Media Group's Fifth Annual Fashion Rocks at Radio City Music Hall in New York on Sept. 5, 2008.

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  • H&M, Youth AIDS & Rihanna Launch The Fashion Against AIDS Collection

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    H&M and R -

    Rihanna signs autographs at H&M for the launch of the Fashion Against AIDS Collection in New York on Jan. 31, 2008.

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  • Nickelodeon's 2008 Kids' Choice Awards - Show

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    Avoiding the slime -

    Rihanna and actor Brendan Fraser perform on stage during Nickelodeon's 2008 Kids' Choice Awards held at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in Westwood, Calif., on March 29, 2008.

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  • 2007 American Music Awards - Show

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    Pumped -

    Rihanna accepts the Favorite Soul/Rhythm & Blues Female Artist award during the 2007 American Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre L.A. LIVE in Los Angeles on Nov. 18, 2007.

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  • Barbados-born singer Rihanna (C) perform

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    Rihanna performs during the first concert of her German tour in Munich on Nov. 13, 2007.

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  • Rihanna performs "Umbrella" at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas September 9, 2007. Rihanna won the award for Monster Single of the Year for the song

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    Rihanna performs "Umbrella" at the 2007 MTV Video Music Awards in Las Vegas on Sept. 9, 2007. She won the award for Monster Single of the Year for the song.

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  • R&B artist Rihanna poses with Canadian i

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    What a pair -

    Rihanna joins Canadian identical-twin designers Dean and Dan Caten during the Dsquared2 show as part of the Milan ready-to-wear fashion shows on Sept. 27, 2007.

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  • Recording artists Chris Brown and Kanye West laugh with Rihanna during a Video Music Awards nomination special "TRL" show at the MTV studios in New York

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    R&B buds -

    Chris Brown, left, and Kanye West, center, laugh with Rihanna during a Video Music Awards nomination special at MTV studios in New York on Aug. 7, 2007.

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  • Rihanna Named 2007 Venus Breeze "Celebrity Legs Of A Goddess"

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    She's got a leg up -

    Rihanna poses after being named 2007 Venus Breeze "Celebrity Legs of a Goddess" at the Metropolitan Pavilion in New York on June 8, 2007.

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    Her day -

    Rihanna performs on the TODAY show in New York's Rockefeller Center on June 8, 2007. Her song "Umbrella" was on top of the charts that week.

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  • 2006 Billboard Music Awards - Press Room

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    One of many awards -

    Rihanna holds her Female Artist of the Year Award at the 2006 Billboard Music Awards at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas on Dec. 4, 2006.

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  • MSN Hosts Rihanna In Concert In Barbados

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    Just like her -

    Rihanna poses for a portrait before a party to celebrate the release of her album "A Girl Like Me" in her hometown of St. Michael, Barbados, on April 22, 2006.

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  • 2005 US Open - Arthur Ashe Kids Day

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    Tennis, anyone? -

    Rihanna attends Arthur Ashe Kids Day before the start of the 2005 US Open at the USTA National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows Corona Park in New York on Aug. 26, 2005.

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  • Jay - Z hosts The Teen People Listening Lounge

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    Have a listen -

    Ne-Yo, left, Jay-Z and Teairra Mari appear onstage with Rihanna, right, at the Teen People Listening Lounge at the Key Club in West Hollywood, Calif., on July 14, 2005.

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Every year, the industry gathers to honor designers, celebs and other stylish folks. On Monday night, a steady stream of celebs arrived at New York City's Lincoln Center, dressed in their designer finest. 



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