Rihanna arrives for the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards at Lincoln Center in New York June 2, 2014.
Rihanna arrives for the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards at Lincoln Center in New York June 2, 2014.

Rihanna stunned all as she hit the red carpet of the annual Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) Awards held at Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center on 2 June in New York City.

The 26-year-old Barbadian beauty, who was honoured with the Fashion Icon Award at the event, made a bold statement in a sheer backless halter dress, custom-made by designer Adam Selman and comprised of a total of 216,000 Swarovski crystals.

She wore a flesh coloured thong, and went without a bra, exposing her breasts.

In her award acceptance speech, Rihanna revealed she did not have much access to fashion while growing up.

"Growing up I didn't have a lot of access to fashion. But, as far as I could remember, fashion has always been my defense mechanism. Even as a child I remember thinking, "She can beat me, but she cannot beat my outfit." And to this day I mean, that is how I think about it. I can compensate for all my weaknesses with my fashion," she said.

"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, and I just like to have fun with it... There are RULES! But rules are meant to be broken," she added.

Meanwhile, Rihanna's stylist Mel Ottenberg and dress designer Adam Selman talked about the dress that made headlines.

"It's so naked," Ottenberg told Style.com. "I don't know if it's shocking—I'm with her all the time, so my shock gauge is off, but I told her that I thought she was ready for this dress a while ago, and that I wasn't. I'm the prude, and I'm just catching up."

"So many people didn't sleep last night," he added. "I would say at least eight people worked nonstop from 8 p.m. last night to 3 p.m. today putting on the finishing touches."

"We definitely wanted to make it a little bit scandalous," Selman said about the look. "The dress is just fishnet and crystals and a couple of fingers crossed. But fashion is about beauty, and the [female] body is part of that."