Rick Owens

Solanaceous Street-Silhouettes

Every designer has a vision and often through stubborn repetition of that idea a new look is born. A fashion paradigm that takes shape on the streets and in stores. Rick Owens is shaping up to be fashion’s most influential designer of late. Not only are his shows path breaking silhouette benders, the designer has also managed to gain traction on the street. Meaning his clothes sell and sell and sell.

Gender-bending business dress, Rick Owens
Gender-bending business dress

And even while he is copied to death by Italian and Asian jeaners he continues to refine his oeuvre making his silhouettes and finishes more elaborate so the copycats cannot follow.

Look, it's a color: even Owens knows how to add some springlike mood, Rick Owens
Look, it’s a color: even Owens knows how to add some springlike mood

Case in point the latest men’s shows for next summer, a path-breaking collection and a veritable fashion moment. After Rick’s skirt for men, or his shorts which look like a skirt, a ubiquitous street look today. Now, he is making more and more use of the dress for men. Indeed, the single most arresting image in this show in the Palais de Chaillot was a gothic poet, his white plastered head and arms peaking out of a black nylon coat dress, all anchored by what is surely the most revolutionary sneakers seen on any runway. Ergonomic, Flash Gordon retro-futurist, Americana bumper shaped and made in brill’ liquid metal hues, they were pretty stunning.

Owens knows how to create powerful images, Rick Owens
Owens knows how to create powerful images

Cut generally as a simple shift shirt-dress, the designer closes the look high at the neck for a clean silhouette, closing them with a zipper on the back. The latest flourish was elaborate embroidery on the front and back with Basquiat meets Guernica dolls, death masks and figures . Also, fine silk ribbons in sherbet colors floating in the air around the torso were new and wildly inventive, and faintly mad.

Stitched snoots on sweaters give Owens' fashion a face, Rick Owens
Stitched snoots on sweaters give Owens’ fashion a face | All photos: courtesy of nowfashion.com

For Rick Owens this was a breakout show. The master of black and faded ecru, dipped models in entire white or green, ghostly yet sexy, Transylvania but cool.