Could Rick Owens be looking to break free from his own stereotypes?
“I think I’m probably very well-known for very long T-shirts and drop-crotch shorts; I think that’s going to be on my tombstone,” the designer deadpanned backstage.
“You know, when you start out, you have no idea how your legacy is going to end up being and that’s going to be mine. And sneakers. And the funny thing about sneakers is, I hated sneakers and I did mine as a parody, and then they became my thing, so you just never know.”
The designer in this memory-searing show-cum-art installation presented some compelling new ideas and proportions.
The set — a raised runway in the parvis of the Palais de Tokyo — was transporting. The models emerged like strange creatures through clouds of colored fog that moved with the wind, with the pungent smell of sulfur adding to the weirdness. (The invitation doubled as a face mask to protect the hacking fashion set.)
The denim was a standout, with Owens moving between elongated and mini proportions on fitted jackets. The patchwork shorts with a carabiner hanging off were particularly cool. He also presented versions that had been slashed open at the crotch to create a skirt.
The key silhouette — slim and elongated on top and flared at the bottom, contrasting shrunken jackets and giant black track pant-esque nylon pants with snaps down the sides — echoed the form of the nearby Eiffel Tower. Only with a sense of destruction, like a tower falling apart.
Evening looks included a lean white cotton coat layered over a faceted pantsuit embroidered with patent black leather triangles.
The new architectural T-shirts, with protruding, 3-D triangular shapes, crescendoed into more conceptual sculptures that exploded from the body like pop-up tents. One incorporated a striped cape resembling a flag. Consciously or unconsciously, in the current geopolitical climate, those felt more like a political protest, bringing the collection back down to earth.