Paris AW17... Rick Owens
Of all of the fashion industry’s many colourful characters, it is hard to find a more unique spirit than Rick Owens. The Paris-based designer has garnered a conscientious and obedient tribe over his 22-year career by consistently overthrowing and undermining hyped trends and frivolous fashion. Owens has his own very distinct creations: ‘languid and draped silhouettes’ building in the way you envisage his clothes transforming, season after season, evolving the species rather starting from scratch every six months.
His AW17 collection is no different: the silhouettes shifted and our perceptions changed.
Arriving at the Palais de Tokyo, it was clear that the Californian’s evangelists had gathered to observe and embrace his latest creations: head to toe in Rick Owens, mixed with metal and leather details, there was a mass shade of black, khaki and navy. Not exactly natives, we slipped in and began observing the pack.
In the raw sunken concave basement of the Palais de Tokyo we arrived promptly to observe a few obscure outfit choices -- guaranteed amongst attendees at a Rick Owens show. What started off as a slow-paced performance quickly turned into fast pace perfect chaos with the models fleeting in-between each other, around and over the concrete hills. What we saw was a modern-day nomad, exaggerated proportions, shapes distorted by tightly bound cloth forcing parts to balloon and swell. Sleazy nylon puffa jackets had excess parts dragging behind them and narrow coats had their sleeves hacked off. Extended knit arms in different colours worn with extreme wide leg trousers with over-exaggerated folded protrusions running from the left hem to the right thigh.
Rick later explained the collection’s name: “Glitter referred to a period in the seventies celebrating sleaze, transgression, sexual liberation and anti-conformity. It was about an almost grotesque artifice, rejecting fears in oppressively troubling times.”
Fabrics were hand painted in tones called ‘bean’ and ‘toad’- shiny and chalky, with raw denim edges ensuring a strong seventies element ran throughout the collection.
Owens has declared that his menswear shows are a reflection of himself: “They are always about self-loathing; how petty, how selfish, how vain I am…”, and this collection very much emitted those feelings but with new darker additions of fear: “They’re about pretending and presenting yourselves as powerfully as we really want to be.”
Rick Owens AW17 was fascinating whilst at the same time quiet terrifying, and ultimately about clothing as armour; putting on the best face you can.
Shop Rick Owens SS17
Man | Woman