The designer went back to the classics — classics being a relative term here — with a collection that had all the overblown proportions Rick Owens loves, and some dramatic tailoring, too.
“I was thinking, ‘What do I want?’ I want a jacket. I’m not wearing bombers anymore, I’m wearing blazers now, because I want to promote a kind of civilized formality, and I think there’s something more civilized about wearing a blazer right now.
“Blazers — we just need them. For this time in history that has gotten so chaotic and so divisive and so sordid, I think we need to polish it up a little bit,” Owens said.
His double-breasted jackets were long and boxy, with eight pockets — Owens has a strong practical streak — and came in eau de nil, smoky gray, cream or his beloved black. Some had patch pockets, others had sheer panels, while others still had their sleeves sawn off to reveal the shoulder pads.
There were shorter ones, too, cropped high on the chest, and paired with ultra high-waisted trousers that rose high over models’ stomachs and stopped short around the ankle. Other trousers were as baggy and wide as an elephant’s leg, while shirts came in myriad shapes and textures.
Tank tops were cut and wrapped and twisted into new shapes with a bondage feel to them, while others came folded, sculpted or with transparent panels. Some looked more like tunics, and were worn with bubble-shaped bags and backpacks, slung over the hip — a new take on the fanny pack — or across the chest and back.
Models, in thick-soled sneaker/hiking boots, climbed around an elaborate set involving lots of steps and scaffolding that Owens had constructed in the parvis of the Palais de Tokyo, his favorite building in the French capital. Egyptian Lover’s song from the Nineties, “I Need a Freak,” was the only one in the show, and it captured Owens’ mood — and playfulness.
“It’s just lusty and sleazy-sounding, which is appealing, but ‘I Need a Freak’ resonates with me because a freak, in theory, is something rare, unusual, kind of weird, maybe spectacular, maybe transgressive. But it’s about rarity — and something that’s a bit of a surprise,” he said.
“And I think now, in fashion, we’re going through this weird normal thing, and I feel like I’m a freak — it’s just really satisfying to say that. That’s my interpretation of this dumb, dumb Nineties song that’s just fun to listen to.”
And as the show proved, freaky can be fun.