Rick Owens A/W 2017

Rick Owens A/W 2017

Scene setting: The models walked in random formation across the vast, chilly basement of the Palais de Tokyo to the sounds of Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé singing Mon cœur s’ouvre à ta voix from Camille Saint-Saëns’s opera Samson and Delilah. The down-lined cabans, striped with canvas and paint, and cut in opera cape volumes made a fitting attire for Dalilah’s devious, rapturous aria.

Mood board: Our world is obsessed with neat little boxes. Creatively, we’re paralysed by the paranoia that there must be right and wrong answers for everything, from ‘Does a dress becomes a tabard if worn by a man?’ to ‘Is fashion really art?’ In spite of this, Rick Owens is a vital and noteworthy designer because his clothes are impossible to label. In the past, he has meditated on darkness and how to approach physical and ecological decline gracefully; last season focused on protection and the models wore cocooning clothes that looked ready for their day of reckoning. Entitled ’Glitter’, A/W 2017 is more upbeat and softer both in colour and shape. Optimistic for the future, it celebrates transgression and anti-conformity with bravado.

Best in show: A series of tiered nylon down jackets were wound around the shoulders and strapped together with t-shirts. Soft, balloon-like colours and exaggerated volume suggested both lightness and armour, spinning a poetic story. Owens’ clothes spark a debate about what fashion needs to be in a confusing, fast changing world. Despite his label’s huge commercial appeal, here it wasn’t always easy to decipher what was what. Snippets of recognisable garments plunged out of the layers of wrapped, bandaged fabrics. The show opened with a set of structured coveralls, worn half undone, jutting out and collapsing around the body in stiff folds. Long, draped trousers scuffed the floor.

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