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Paris

Rick Owens

Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear

Paris

Rick Owens

Fall 2017 Ready-to-Wear

Paris

BY Katharine K. Zarrella

March 2, 2017

•  “‘Glitter’ was about reaction,” said Rick Owens of his Fall 2017 offering. “It was supposed to be a flamboyant, jubilant departure from all the gloom that I”e been talking about,” Owens noted, referring to his last few collections, which have focused on decline. “But it wasn’t. It was more. And it was about protest. It was about the ‘70s. It was about the face of turbulent times.”

• It was instantly obvious that Glitter, as Owens called his collection, had an ominous tone. In fact, as the first models, wearing voluminous ensembles and headpieces that looked like gas masks emerged, one editor asked me if I thought Owens was arming us for the apocalypse. Perhaps, but according to the designer, this collection looks to what’s next. 

• “Now it’s got to be, what do you do after protesting? You pick yourself up and you gather your personal resources and you move forward in as civilized a way as possible. That is the most powerful, positive thing you can do. And that’s what this was about.”

• This season, Owens was essentially proposing a new civilization. He soundtracked the show with Beethoven’s “Piano Sonata 3 in C Major,” because, as he wrote in the show notes, it is “a great example of what civilization at its best sounds like.” 

• The first thing most editors noticed was the above-mentioned headgear. However, the hats, some of which had long noses fashioned out of a sweatshirt sleeve, were not protective gear. Rather, they were a nod to ceremony. “I tried not to get too literal, but I was thinking of all the hats I’ve ever seen in my entire life, of every civilization that’s ever existed,” Owens explained. For instance, one headpiece, which looked like rabbit ears, was inspired by Anibus, the Egyptian god of mummification. Make of that what you will. 

• “This was about the ceremony that civilization is based upon,” Owens continued. “Ceremonies are about people coming together to pursue similar values—the value system that they all agree on. And these values are usually positive. I think runway shows are contemporary ceremonies. They are people gathering together to collectively worship beauty.”

• There was a lot of beauty—specifically, Owens’ brand of dark, urban beauty—in this collection, which, it should be noted, was a continuation of the men’s range the designer showed in January. 

• Layers were key, with draped wool tunics being worn over floor-length leather skirts and t-shirts with elongated sleeves. Dresses were worn as skirts—unzipped at the bodice, they fell around the waist, and were shown with t-shirts and Owens’ signature jackets, though these had multiple protrusions. 

• Duvet coats and capes also featured heavily. That, coupled with the way Owens’ garments were undone and layered, fueled the idea that these women were wearing everything they owned, carrying their lives on their backs as they rebuild.

• “Everything is improvised,” Owens said. “We can improvise with our limited resources. How can we pull ourselves together and move this place forward in a positive way? We can all improvise with what we’ve got—that’s all you need to do.”

• Unsurprisingly, the women in Owens’ new civilization dressed in a manner that was fairly out there—for the average consumer, at least. With that in mind, one journalist inquired whether Owens hoped to see his clients in full looks on the street. “Not everybody will—they’re not even meant to be for that,” he replied. “The funny thing is, when I started out, I thought clothes had to be practical. I would never propose anything that I didn’t expect people to wear. But as time goes on and everything is so overexposed, sometimes it really is just about something a bit more abstract.”

• That being said, Owens always produces even the most outré garments seen on his runway. “Now, all of these things are in the store—that promise I do keep. I never do stuff we don’t propose or sell, but it’s limited. And it should be. That’s what this is supposed to be. I mean, this is Paris. Shit.”

• Yes, it is indeed. And Owens gave us the kind of thought-provoking fashion spectacle we expect from the city—not to mention some damn good clothes. 

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