Friday 18th January

| BY Richard Gray

Rick Owens: Menswear AW19

It’s quiet before a Rick Owens show, like in a church. And we are in a way, and here to pay our respect to a designer held, by his fans, in god-like, status. Today’s service was held in the Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philips Vassala-designed concrete basement of the Palais de Tokyo, a church to brutal minimalism.

Straight into the direct beam of industrial-sized search spotlight walked gangly youths, and a handful of buff goths, in terrific platform boots. Some looks played with classic quilting and the kind you see lining a hunting jacket or worn by posh Saturday dads down the King’s Road. Owens’ was longer, and cut and refashioned and worn over beautifully tailored coats. And still, they came like Nightcrawlers from a nightclub somewhere in the future.

More geometry and a new-look blouson: a reverse shearling or that tan leather shearling version with a side fasten then ruched at the waistband. This shape was taken and repurposed again into a half-shearling body with puffa sleeves. It’s engineering like this, where Owens excels. The shoulder on various jackets and coats was an exercise in moulding on a Stockman: like a soft pagoda it gently kicked out and slightly up like a stubby nose. You only get a shoulder like that after hours of work: reshaping, recutting, padding on, padding off. But you only see the work that goes into the garments, and the brand’s constant pushing for new and absolute perfection, when you get access to the pattern rooms. It’s here where the serious work takes place: immaculate.

Photography by Jason Lloyd- Evans.