Just as Rick Owens’ show was about to start, the backdrop metalfixture erupted into flames, and the first model in a gray coat, flowingdress and knitted cap pulled over her face stepped onto the runway. Thestriking visual suggested a sense of black magic and voodoo rituals.(Owens is, after all, no stranger to dark, atmospheric clothes withGothic undertones and lots of black.) But the clothes that followedcountered that notion with a sense of subtle romance.

There was still some black, but the designer largely stuck to alighter palette of dove gray and a few tan hues. And while he didn’tstray too far from the shapes he feels most comfortable with, hesuggested a looser silhouette for dresses and tops that had more flow intheir fit. Some of these looks were layered over drop-crotch shorts,which could have become tricky, but in Owens’ hands, were quite alluringand cool.

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