Friday 17th January

| BY Dino Bonacic

Rick Owens: Menswear AW20

It’s difficult to imagine a Rick Owens show without *those* platforms. Luckily, we don’t have to as Owens doesn’t intend to stop making vertigo look so damn good anytime soon. However, his latest AW20 show did indeed make us look twice thanks to the floor of the venue at Palais de Tokyo being filled with mist. In some ways, wearing Owens’ platform boots does indeed feel like walking on clouds, and not just due to their height. They signify a (not so) secret code which will tag you as a member of the Rick Owens clan. And who wouldn’t want to be part of that clan, especially when their next season’s wardrobe looks just darn good?

Come autumn and all of Owens’ superfans will be slipping into one-legged knit jumpsuits in all variations of colours and prints. Like the basis of the AW20 look, these statement garments dominated the first half of the collection. Going from day to night and day, they were worn under see-through raincoats and conservative suit jackets, presenting the American designer’s idea of sexy dancewear. This season, he was inspired by artist Cecilia Bengolea who had Owens’ partner Michèle Lamy perform as part of her dancing troupe as part of Performance Art Biennale called Performa. “But at 58, I find myself, for better or worse,” Owens wrote in his show notes.

The second part of the show was a bit more ferocious – the models’ legs were squeezed into padded leather trousers, while their “monstrous” shoulders stood tall and wide, looking like a decidedly more chic version of those freaky moto-cyclists out of the 2015 Mad Max remake. And as always, a new colourway was introduced to Rick Owens’ universe, with a very particular shade of saturated blue sky becoming an instant favourite.

Even though he always operates in his own lane, AW20 provided a standout moment for Owens who, 25 years after founding his brand, continues to be the spiritual father of all those who feel like they don’t belong. At Rick Owens, everyone’s welcome – as long as you know how to walk in those 14.5cm platforms…

Photographs by Jason Lloyd-Evans.

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