Rick Owens, Spring/Summer '09 (scroll down to read the review)
One of the most consistently eye popping news items to come out of a Rick Owens show occurs 'down below' where his futuristic footwear takes centre stage. There have been, among others, long hairy shoes and over-the-knee suede boots that looked like craggily, volcanic rock formations tipping out over a cliff.
This season, he took a cue from posh show pony hooves to propose what looked like ruffled leather ankle curtains. Its true that these draped designs, which came in long and short, spring-appropriate versions, did mask the sandals beneath. But they did nothing to detract from the pure simplicity of Owen's architecturally sliced clothes.
In fact, the leather flaps, together with their headgear counterpart (a droopy sack version of a nun's veil) only made the pure clothes story, which bordered on the monastic, all the more compelling.
Owens is a sharp cutter and he proved his scissoring skills by the geometric negative space neatly extracted from the mid sections of droopy rompers, loose dresses and airy tops. Leather, this designer's fabric of choice, was ironed down into paper-thin patchwork jackets and A-line skirts and asymmetrical hems. That, together with the bow-tied cut away coats and fancy footwear, made for a very striking group finale when Owens' troop of models stormed the runway through a puff of billowing smoke.