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Rick Owens SS20 collection Paris Fashion Week
Photography Christina Fragkou

‘Bauhaus Aztec priestesses’ stormed Rick Owens’ bubble-filled SS20 runway

Wait... what?

We’re now in the final days of the SS20 fashion season, with the curtain set to fall on Paris next Tuesday – but not before we’ve seen what the likes of Celine, McQueen, and Louis V have in store for us for the coming months. First up, though, is Dazed fave Rick Owens, who was back at the Palais de Tokyo (duh!) once again this afternoon. 

RICK WAS INSPIRED BY A MEXICAN ACTRESS THIS SEASON

After sending a menswear collection entitled Tecuatl down the runway back in June (as taken from his grandmother’s Mixtec maiden name), this time Owens was back with part two of the exploration of his heritage. This time, he drew inspiration from the ‘run-down Mexican movie theatre’ he was dragged to by his dad growing up, and cited actress María Félix (the Marlene Deitrech of Mexican cinema, who apparently amassed a legendary Cartier collection, FYI) as a key influence for the season.

...WHO WAS ALSO THE BASIS FOR THE SHOW’S SOUNDTRACK 

Félix also provided the soundtrack to the SS20 presentation, with ‘techno wizard’ (Rick’s words) Gage using a line from one of her movies as the basis of an exclusive, thumping mix.

FURTHER INSPO CAME FROM JOSEF AND ANNI ALBERS AND LUIS BARRAGÁN

The collection drew heavily on Bauhaus legends Anni and Josef, who visited archaeological sites in Mexico and subsequently created simplistic, modernist works inspired by what they found there. This, in turn, informed much of Rick’s SS20 collection, as seen across knitted dresses and in the mega-lacing that featured on a series of oversized and exaggerated bomber jackets. Barragán’s bold use of colour, meanwhile, formed the colour palette for the collection, with pink, yellow, white, black, and red all featuring heavily. 

THERE WERE (A LOT OF) BUBBLES 

The centre of the Palais De Tokyo’s pavilion had been filled with a pool of soapy water around which a group of bubble artists gathered and filled the air with bubbles. According to Rick, their presence gave the event “a bucolic lightheartedness I associate with the Mexico I used to know,” with the designer going on to sum up the whole thing as “stoic Bauhaus Aztec priestesses in an Art Deco Valhalla filled with bubbles animated by Fantasia era Disney.” Because not only does he have a way with a pair of scissors and a roll of fabric, he’s also pretty good with words too. 

...AND THE MAKE-UP WAS AS OTHERWORLDLY AS EVER

For his AW19 womenswear show, Rick joined forces with subversive make-up artist and Instagrammer Salvia, whose aesthetic seemingly continued to inspire him well into SS20. Models took to the runway with seriously receding hairlines, bleached eyebrows, and daubed-on powder in shades that matched the collection’s palette. Others wore unique headpieces inspired by the hieroglyphics uncovered at countless ancient Mexican sites.