EXCLUSIVE: Rick Owens Womenswear A/W12 casting

Dazed's Casting Director Noah Shelley takes us behind the scenes...

Fashion Incoming
Photography by Noah Shelley

Rick Owens was… fucking awesome. We had fire. We had Zebra Katz cursing on the soundtrack. We show in Bercy at what is essentially a sports coliseum. We have RICK! This show is amazing to watch. And this season, we all just had so much fun backstage. It felt really good. It’s a killer way to end my fashion month, as it were.

Working with a designer like Rick Owens is in many ways a casting director's dream, because model politics is never a part of it. It's such a humanistic approach and we always get to define the relationship between the clothes and the models in new and exciting ways

We started casting with Rick in 2008 – which is eight seasons of womenswear and all the mens basically since he decided to show. It’s a really good relationship now, a family in so many ways. And its like coming home every time we walk into the atelier. Working with a designer like Rick Owens is in many ways a casting director's dream, because model politics is never a part of it. It's such a humanistic approach and we always get to define the relationship between the clothes and the models in new and exciting ways.

The key point this season is that the collection had masks. In every look. So that’s an extra layer – in that it's not just the right girl, the right fit, the right clothes, but we have to consider how certain features will appear when criss crossed with the re-imagined balaclavas he showed. As usual we include threads to the previous collections by using models we love and who are very much a part of the Rick story. And, as usual, we do a great deal to push for exciting new faces. Which is the really fun part. We don’t do 'exclusives' per say at Rick, but I would venture that we often show unexpected new girls before other people catch on. Granted being early in the week helps.

The key point this season is that the collection had masks. In every look. So that’s an extra layer – we have to consider how certain features will appear when criss crossed with the re-imagined balaclavas he showed

I'd say Marie Piovesan in look one was my favorite, she is such a cool looking girl and I was really happy to be able to open the show with her, using her in a place where I felt she fitted so well. I was also thrilled to see Ajuma back this season. She's a perfect fit for Rick Owens!

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