AM Casting's Noah Shelley, casting director for Rick Owens, talks strong and unusual features and another killer soundtrack...
The show was epic, as usual. I mean, we had these beautiful clogs in every look. That's an unexpected one, eh?! This season had an amazing selection of hallmark Rick; gowns, amazing coats and fine tailored jackets. Then he seemed to add this pointed lightness; sheer blazers and his spin on sportswear like anoraks. It was a great show all around – the mood was so 'up' also. Rick's wife, Michele, did the soundtrack, it was really special. She read, in her amazing voice, a poem by Langston Hughes layered over Matthew Stone's wildly thunderous sounds.
In our casting we try to use characters that are really a part of Rick's world, like Benoit, Konrad and Rory. Since finding them for the show these boys have become involved in the brand in ways that stretch beyond modelling and that is a part of the Rick Owens story. We always look for strong and unusual features, finding and bringing in guys just for him every season, such as Wilhelm from Copenhagen, Benjamin and Peter. Then we have newbies like Harry, Gleb and Quentin, who are brand new faces and some of the favourites this time.
My team gets there early and makes sure the boys arrive on time, verifying we have all the official French working documents. Angus and I work with Luigi (Murenu) to make sure the right guys are getting the haircuts they need or hairstyles based off decisions with Rick. Then we work on rehearsing and explaining the runway to the boys, which is always hilarious. We have to make sure our intent is actualised and the way the boys walk the runway is a bit more of a work of creative chaos, intended to look both perfect and random. We have them walk different spacings and distances from each other and sometimes there will be three guys out at a time. The venue is always the same, a massive industrial arena/sports/warehouse type space, a cavernous room that when we take over even the massive runway and seating are surrounded by emptiness up and around when the lights go out.
Text and casting photography Noah Shelley