Girl Power. Real and raw, with no trace of sugar-coatedcartoon superheroines. That was the main takeaway from Rick Owens’heart-pumping, foot-stomping, awe-inspiring show.

Instead of traditional models, Owens enlisted women from fourAmerican college step teams — the Zetas, Washington Divas, Soul Steppersand Momentums. Each came down the massive set’s staircase clapping andthumping in the style of the energetic dance form with roots inAfrican-American fraternities and sororities, and they were deliberatelymaking angry faces. Pretty, in the traditional fashion sense of theword, was surely not the point, but the cool, almost tribal effectenergized the crowd. Owens, for his part, had a more personal subtext inmind.

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