Day two of Paris Fashion Week: the menswear edition and we’re back with Rick Owens at his usual spot – the Palais de Tokyo, duh. Having delved into his Mexican heritage for SS20, this season, the crowned prince of the avant-garde presented a collection that channelled David Bowie circa the mid-1970s. Is it just us or are you sensing a theme this season? Here’s everything you need to know.
...at least in comparison to recent seasons, which saw a series of performances from bubble blowers and traditional Mexican musicians. This time around, things had been moved inside the historic Palais de Tokyo’s halls, where dry ice formed dense smoke on the runway and attendees lined the walls.
RICK WAS INSPIRED BY ROSELEE GOLDBERG’S ART PIECE ‘PERFORMA’ THIS SEASON
...which his wife, the inimitable Michele Lamy, aka ‘HUN’, ended up performing as part of Cecilia Bengolea’s dance group last year. First debuted by Goldberg in 2004, the art piece has been interpreted by countless artists in the 16 years since, with Marina Abramovic, Rashid Johnson, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude among them. He also namechecked Joseph Beuys’ ‘Aktions’ as an inspiration, explaining he felt ‘Performa’ was an evolution of this.
Which this season took the form of echoing, atmospheric, largely percussive beat. The track was first commissioned by Rick as part of his takeover of the Centre du Pompidou at the end of 2019 - “I wanted to make sure I milked it,” the designer explained.
THE COLLECTION DRAGGED BOWIE-ESQUE GLAM ROCK INTO 2020
Skin-tight, asymmetric knitted bodysuits were the first looks out onto the runway, some with semi-see-through, Patrick Bateman-style vinyl trenches and shorts, as well as slick tailored blazers and coats, layered over the top. Later, models stormed through the space wearing brilliantly trashy, almost 80s hair metal-esque ensembles made up of sharp-shouldered snakeskin and leopard jackets and uber-skinny moto-style drainpipe jeans and leathers, with low-cut, draped jersey tees underneath. In the show’s press notes, Rick referenced Kansai Yamamoto, famous for kitting out David Bowie in the mid-70s, and Corbusier’s Modular Man as inspo when it came to his geometric knits and ‘hulking’ oversized, coats.
AND THEN THERE WERE THE ACCESSORIES…
Which included kind of sinister see-through vinyl gloves, which a number of models carried in their hands, the huge, mirrored sunglasses integral to the last few collections, and Rick’s signature glam rock-inspired boot, this season presented with metal toe guards and transparent heels (j’want). Finishing things off were new runners designed as part of his ongoing collab with sustainable sneaker pioneers Veja.