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Singer Rihanna attends the 2014 CFDA Fashion Awards at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on June 2, 2014 in New York City

*Rihanna had all her good-goods on display last night at the annual Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) gala – considered the Oscars of the fashion world – held at New York’s Lincoln Center.

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The singer’s custom, sheer Adam Selman fishnet gown – made from 216,000 embedded Swarovski crystals – turned heads on the red carpet and made instant headlines. The gown was accompanied by matching, elbow-length gloves and a glittering headscarf.

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RiRi received the event’s 2014 Fashion Icon Award and her trophy was presented by Vogue maven Anna Wintour, who said that with Rihanna, “the point is to be audacious — even jaw-dropping or button-pushing.”

Fashion Icon award recipient Rihanna (L) and Editor-in-chief of American Vogue Anna Wintour onstage at the 2014 CFDA fashion awards at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on June 2, 2014 in New York City

Fashion Icon award recipient Rihanna (L) and Editor-in-chief of American Vogue Anna Wintour onstage at the 2014 CFDA fashion awards at Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center on June 2, 2014 in New York City

Accepting the award, Rihanna spoke of her origins in Barbados, where “I didn’t have a lot of access to fashion.” But, she said: “Fashion has always been my defense mechanism.” Even as a child, she told the crowd, she used to think: “She can beat me, but she can’t beat my outfit.”

“I can compensate for all my weaknesses with my fashion,” she said, adding: “There are rules, but rules are meant to be broken.”

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Also honored at the annual CFDA ceremony at Lincoln Center were a number of top designers. Joseph Altuzarra won the womenswear award, and the menswear prize went to Dao-Yi Chow and Maxwell Osborne, the duo behind the Public School label.

Sisters Ashley Olsen and Mary-Kate Olsen of The Row won the accessories award.

The international award went to Raf Simons of Dior, and the CFDA lifetime achievement award went to designer Tom Ford, who quipped that he hoped it didn’t spell the end of his career.