That this was the sartorial accompaniment to a book Rick Owens has written on Larry Legaspi, the man responsible for the silver-and-black “space-sleaze” looks of Labelle and Kiss in the Seventies, and who introduced a camp ferocity to the mainstream, proved the perfect backstory for this stellar collection confirming Owens’ own steady transcendence from niche goth to being a master reference for outerwear and cool, sharp, elegant tailored clothing.
The collection, titled Larry, will hit shelves in October in tandem with the release of the tome on Legaspi whose aesthetic proved transformative for Owens growing up in Porterville, Calif. The designer backstage explained that the book, which includes interviews with Pat Cleveland, who used to model for Legaspi, Kiss’ Paul Stanley and Patti LaBelle, has a strong autobiographical bent, including photo shoots mixing pieces from both of their worlds.
The collection, he explained, is not a literal interpretation, “but there’s a sense of dissipation that I wanted so desperately when I was 15.”
“It was this glory of lust and vice, and this futuristic Art Deco aesthetic has really stuck with me,” Owens said. “I don’t know why I understood why that was cool, but that combined with the bombast of heavy metal and the sexiness of these guys drooling blood, all of that coming together kind of made me who I am.”
While staying 100-percent true to his aesthetic, the look was very Seventies glam hard rock but had a sharply cut sartorial side to it, with the peak-shoulder tailoring, clomping platform boots and colored futuristic sunglasses.
The designer grew his business on drop-crotch pants and elongated T-shirts, but the cropped shearling pieces and terrific topcoats stood out here. Compared to the abstract dimension of the past couple of shows, it also felt much more approachable.
Lacquered denim played a strong role, with white tanks and myriad coats and jackets, some with shearling panels at the back, as well as short puffers with sculptural protrusions at the shoulder in a mix of silvery gray, dark gray and black. He also sent out big comfortable looking quilted coats with leather bands and snaps that had a kimono feel in the volumes.
The coloring, with the red, orange, ombré pink and rust colors mixed together was super beautiful.
The designer’s view of utility, mixing elements of streetwear with super-refined tailoring, as on the laser-sharp rust topcoat balanced by humongous frontal 3-D cargo pockets in leather, also felt super relevant, blended with the baggy pant and long T-shirt. There was a feeling of him cementing his vision, as the rest of the world catches up.