Rick Owens: Menswear SS21
When it comes to scale, visual audacity and emotional punch, Rick Owens’ shows are hard to beat. How would he fare digitally? Pretty damn well. His approach was to film the final fittings of his SS21 collection, entitled Phlegethon – after the river of flames in the underworld of Greek mythology. His mini-movie was shot in black and white, on a split-screen, with the camera far away enough to make the viewer feel like a voyeur. It was as though we were spying on the designer from a hidden CCTV camera. What we saw was the work that goes into the final stages of a collection. The designer and his fit model – who looked like a cross between Thor and a stoner surfer dude (all rock hard abs and grungy hair) tried on look after look whilst a soundtrack of Alice Cooper, hardcore rave and David Bowie’s “Sense of Doubt” played in the studio.
Pagoda shoulder jackets, pink high tops, a slouchy diagonal-striped knit, checked pyjama bottoms, a twisted tee, a duster coat with super-wide shoulders, knee-high biker boots – all these looks were tried, tweaked, adjusted and photographed. The film shows the straightforward, day-to-day graft of the designer, but you also see him hone a look and get into his dark-core soundtrack. It opens an intimate window on his world and resonates with emotional honesty. And the clothes? Slouchy, comfortable but utterly and incredibly stylish; they look even better post-Covid than they did before.