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

There was still some black, but the designer largely stuck to a lighter palette of dove gray and a few tan hues. And while he didn’t stray too far from the shapes he feels most comfortable with, he suggested a looser silhouette for dresses and tops that had more flow in their fit. Some of these looks were layered over drop-crotch shorts, which could have become tricky, but in Owens’ hands, were quite alluring and cool.

He also showed terrific outerwear, including a few formfitting coats and cropped, draped leather jackets, as well as a stunning gray fur coat interspersed with a graphic white trim detail. It complemented the collection’s alluring softer touch quite nicely.

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