Rick Owens: Menswear SS18
I’m going to begin by quoting the words of Rick Owens, not through laziness, just because they are very very good. Specifically, his words about the set for today’s SS18 show – an incredible scaffolding construction that rose to the height of the Palais de Tokyo, stretching across its length and over the pool in front. “It’s kind of a way of caressing it’s inner walls and licking every inch of a building that’s only purpose is a temple of beauty,” he said. “I was thinking of Vladimir Tatlin’s tower set to Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven.” And this collection was about structures – Rick saying it began with land art – this idea of using architecture, or artworks, to attempt to give some order to the chaos of nature. This meant forms that were excessive, unruly on top, with sheer panels to echo construction tarps, whilst bottoms were skimpy, and extra-short.
Weight was added with leather bags, that sat, boulder-like, around the waist and down on to the thigh. Rick said that the jacket was central to this, a symbol of order and uniform – here warped with a cropped hemline (to “lift the torso and any spiritual zone up and to the ready”), the same shape echoed in slight leather jackets, or, at the other end – long, tux-like jackets with short, narrow lapels and roomy pockets (“big enough for a sandwich” – also Rick). But what is really so compelling about Rick Owens’ brand of futurism – because this is clothing that looks forward, not back – is it’s lack of rigidity. It is fluid, and beautiful, making for very modern kind of spectacle – the scope of his imagination meaning he remains one of the finest designers currently showing in Paris.
Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans