Rick Owens’ spring-summer 2019 collection wasn’t just another Instagram-worthy fashion spectacle. True, the burning, wooden installation in the middle of Palais De Tokyo’s backyard was quite a visual attraction. But in fact, the designer himself did something that you very rarely see in the industry. Something that isn’t straightforward appealing or so-called ‘good for business’. Owens showed his anger and frustration with the current system of not just fashion, but… everything. “I’ve been frustrated with how straight the world can be, how petty,” Owens said, explaining his motives. “Just the process of getting permits to do this (the fire) was tedious”. The garments felt as well as a call for a riot, defiance. Some of the models carried torches and looked like cosmic witches wearing enormous sunglasses and cocoonish garments. Others had metallic head wears and stiff, XXL braces on their hands. There was something very dystopian about the nomadic, floor sweeping coats made of mesh-like leather. Where are those women marching? Or are they heading for the fight? You could also have an impression of a witch coven that is about to start a world-shaking sabbath. Whatever it is, Owens seems to be raging, and so, he directs all those emotions into his deep, multi-faceted work.
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.