As the weather grows warm and the echoes of the Parisian summer linger in the air, Rick Owens unfurls the narrative for his Spring/Summer 2024 collection, enthralling us with a magnetic dance of form and fabric.
Rick Owens, often seen as the high priest of the sartorially monochromatic, ventures to debunk his own myth, revealing occasional dalliances with color. Yes, even the “Lord of Black” can’t resist the allure of a “grayish amethyst” ensemble once in a while. But for the time being, he remains loyal to his favorite hue, painting his collection with generous strokes of black. In doing so, he tells a story of ‘formal, restrained, albeit admittedly drama queen’ color, capturing the spirit of our times.
At a moment when the world seems increasingly ominous, with gas leaks causing explosions in Paris and leaving a grim aura hanging over the city, Owens offers a vision of dark elegance that resonates deeply with the zeitgeist. However, his portrayal of this “grim, determined elegance” is far from despairing. Instead, Owens reads the room with a keen eye, shunning frivolity and ostentatious consumption in favor of substance and sophistication.
Taking a closer look at Rick Owens‘ creations, it’s clear that he had one goal in mind: to create something formal, strict, beautiful, and elevated. Devotion to black allowed him to channel his creative energies into the fabrics and construction, resulting in an array of sumptuous textures and inventive structures. From radical flared pants creating the illusion of infinite legs – a nostalgic nod to the modeling glory days of Nadja Auermann – to small silk or leather tops artfully wrapped around the shoulders and chest, Owens paints a masterful tableau of alien-like silhouettes.
As the audience took in these elongated forms through billowing smoke and drifting ash at the Palais de Tokyo, they bore witness to a strange beauty, an otherworldly grace. Owens’ silhouettes evolved, slowly and deliberately, the minimalism blooming into ostentation as shoulder lines widened into ‘linebacker proportions’, made possible by featherlight, mille-feuille constructions.
The climax of Owens’ show was a captivating spectacle, where lustrous habotai silk shirts, tunics, parkas, and robes billowed out over the models’ bodies. To further underline his vision, many models were shod in radical boots reminiscent of pneumatic walking braces, transforming them into haunting figures of elegance. The collection might bear shades of grimness, yet it undeniably radiated grandeur.
© Photos: Rick Owens
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