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Backstage at Rick Owens SS18Photography Arnaud Lafeuillade

Branded ponchos and a water display at Rick Owens’ SS18 show

The collection – that featured a procession of giant sculptural looks – was inspired by fertility and hope

Rick Owens staged his SS18 womenswear show this evening in Paris – giving the world the once in a life opportunity to see what Courtney Love would look like in a poncho. More on why they were necessary in a second. Here are all the highlights from the show. 

THERE WAS A SCARF AS THE INVITE

Which featured an image of the Italian brutalist head bust by the artist Thayaht that Owens gave away a miniature of as an invite for this season’s men’s show. On each scarf was an embroidered patch, declaring that the show was called dirt, and explaining that of these busts he has one of two in existence. “This Italian Futurist represents a brutalist aspirational aesthetic that I have pursued doggedly since I first my name on a label,” it went on to say.

THE GUESTS GOT PONCHOS

In the summer it was bucket hats, fans, and Rick Owens branded water bottles, and for womenswear, guests were given black branded ponchos – the plasticky kind you’d get at a theme park. It wasn’t just in case of bad weather though – we were advised to wear them. As the show started it became obvious why; the pool out the back of the Palais de Tokyo started misting out water, and halfway through they transformed into full jets spraying into the sky as a laughing voice (maybe Michele Lamy’s?) came on over the soundtrack. Yes, we did get wet.

THE SHOW WAS ABOUT GRACE

According to the press release, which Owens always pens himself in his trademark capital letters, this collection was about stoicism, fertility, futurism and hope – proposing experimental grace as a rejection of our messed up world. Which might have explained the procession of white looks, that looked like futuristic maternity-looking wear – switching a baby bump for a large white sack instead.

THERE WAS A LOT OF GREEN

Ok, so when our resident astronomer advised Rick to wear green on his show day, we didn’t think he’d translate it into the collection. Models wore sea creature green, with trailing sleeves, leather panels and sometimes with elaborate beaded embroidery. Backstage, Owens explained that he was drawn to the colour because of its ugliness: “I thought it was jarring and irritating and weird because I love colour when it’s kind of grotesque,” he said.

AND A PROCESSION OF SCULPTURAL LOOKS

Like layered vests (which recalled the menswear show) but according to Owens they weren’t bandages – like they may have looked – but pastries. “I saw them as cupcakes, as meringues, icing as close to confection as somebody like me would get,” Owens shared backstage.