Mood board: The palpable tension that fills the air before a Rick Owens show is no surprise considering the designer’s previous coups de théâtre. His last womenswear collection was shown on women that were hung upside down, legs slung over shoulders, strapped to other women. And at his last autumn/winter menswear collection, Owen gave us the willies. This season his focus is on protection and defense. Aside from the cocooning primordial largesse of the pieces we have come to expect from the label, Owens continued to build on his commercial savvy, delivering a strong collection of covetable cover-ups. The show opened with two blocky shearling coveralls that were utilitarian in their loucheness.
Scene setting: The title of the collection, ‘Mastodon’, was a reference to the now extinct relative of the mammoth who disappeared from North America around 10,000 years ago as the result of hunting and a change in climate. As always, the show was staged in the vast unfinished concrete basement of the Palais de Tokyo, a fitting backdrop for Owens’ artisanal Armageddon.
Best in show: The clothes were in a range of cushy fabrics; a group of short sleeveless tanks that were swaged and tied around the models at the beginning of the show. Standouts were the long tabards that looked like deconstructed, puckered sleeping bags made in patchwork shearling, matte nylon and fuzzy angora – they will keep Owens’ coven very happy. A series of crisp trench coats with skinny sleeves and a cropped double-breasted suit jacket, worn with fluid, wide-legged cargo pants would work for the more nascent fan.