Even with Sergei Diaghilev in mind, Rick Owens liberated tulle of its usual ballerina trappings, crimping it, dyeing it in sooty colors and building it into a new kind of industrial-strength beauty.
Backstage, Owens said he imagined what Marcel Breuer, one of his favorite Brutalist architects, might muster with tulle if he ran out of concrete.
Owens went for roomy, triangular dresses and tunics, the biggest fortified with tubular structures flanking the front. They were arresting.
Strips of brown felt and copper leather decorated other flaring tunics or slim, strapless columns, the latter often worn over shorts and fashioned in gauzy, stiffened fabrics that jutted out in triangular points.
Kooky touches included, on some models, white face paint that crept into the hairline and the strangest and pointiest sheer rompers you’ll see during the collections. Yet, it was exhilarating to see fashion’s dark lord of glamorous Goth come out of the shadows and experiment with something lighter in spirit and construction. He opted not to draw the black curtains at the Palais de Chaillot, letting in the daylight and the stunning views of the Eiffel Tower.
Even the gritty colors ultimately yielded to blushes of sea foam, sky blue and peach, making Owens’ “froth,” his stated inspiration, even frothier.