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Paris

Rick Owens

Fall 2018 Ready-to-Wear

Paris

Rick Owens

Fall 2018 Ready-to-Wear

Paris

BY Katharine K. Zarrella

March 1, 2018

Sisyphus—that mythological king cursed by Zeus to push a boulder up a mountain for eternity—and sensuality don’t exactly go hand in hand, but those were the concepts behind Rick Owens’ uncharacteristically wearable Fall 2018 collection. His menswear outing—also named Sisyphus—had to do with “cycles of cultural backpedaling,” but for his women’s show, it dealt more with age-old forms of sartorial seduction. “Clothes are communication and the message is often one of seduction. But towards what results?” Owens asked in the show notes. In this instance, similar protrusions to what we saw in this Spring 2018 collection were nods to panniers and bustles—modes of molding and distorting the female form to appear more sumptuous to the male gaze in more constricting eras. Owens’ women, however, while still padded and enhanced via sculptural, down-stuffed wool coats, skirts, and dresses with various protrusions, as well as bulbous bags that hung off the hip, seemed to suggest women taking ownership of their lumps and bumps in all forms. It’s also worth noting that, despite its protrusions, this was one of the most wearable runway collections we’ve seen from Owens. Sure, there were deconstructed baseball caps that resembled ears or horns, puffy dresses that swaddled the models, and those giant bags, but there were also simple trainers, fantastic, oversized coats in alluring, tactile fabrics, and even a t-shirt or two (albeit beautifully draped ones). The soundtrack—Liza Minelli, Marlene Dietrich, Peggy Lee, and Eydie Gormé singing renditions of 1950s show tune “Baubles, Bangles, and Beads”—both referenced the aforementioned concept of adornment in the name of seduction, and harkened back to a simpler time. Sure, the whole process may seem Sisyphean, but if Owens’ collection is any indication, it’s certainly progressed—these women are dressing for themselves and no one else. Or, to put it metaphorically, they’re giving that boulder a big middle finger. 

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