“I’m not the kind of designer that says, ‘I just went to China and this is my inspiration‘. But I just went to Egypt, and they have those shapes, those beautiful shapes, and I thought if I did that as a Dan Flavin helmet, that would be so cool.” This is how Rick Owens summed up his out-of-this-world, ethereal autumn-winter 2022 menswear collection. By combining the headwear profiles of Ancient Egypt with some adroitly applied Philips light bulbs, Owens created headpieces that doubled as lamps – “they’re all free-standing.” The on-and-off-again lighting meant that much of the detail was suppressed from the eye: what was left were silhouettes. These were masculine, wonderfully unconventional and diverse, and ranged from Owen’s originally parodic mega shoulder to whorled arthropod curlings rendered in piumino. He compared the Land Art of the 1970s to the emerging meta-stuff, but remained refreshingly detached. Much more passionately he dug deep into the Made In Italy provenance of his pieces, dishing detail on the family companies that fashion his progressive fashion with artisanal techniques. The great upside of this, he hinted, is that it advertises traceability. “That’s information that’s important. And I like being in a company that is talking about that, but which is also saying ‘We’re not that good at it, but we’re trying.’”
Collage by Edward Kanarecki.