Beauty. Fashion. Lifestyle

Sunday, 6 December 2015

Rick Owens Ready to Wear SS16

“With the help of God, I know I can be strong,” were the cinematic vocals that echoed the Palais de Tokyo, leaving a mist of impassioned yet ominous ambiance for Rick Owens’ SS16 show.

Known for pushing the boundaries with his runway performance art, Rick Owens is a nonconformist in every right. As the fashion critics on the front row eagerly had their pens poised, the world sat in anticipation of what the cult designer could possibly do next.

As Chanteuse Eska sang her rendition of ‘This land is mine’, formidable women began to walk in Owens’ newest designs, whilst effortlessly carrying motionless models that embodied sculptural human backpack compositions. As the models exited, the women were harnessed to one another, provocatively bound via their partner’s torsos or backs. There was an element of lifelessness in the air, as their limbs hung limply over their female counterpart, yet this restraining of women, whom were bizarrely suspended at all angles, communicated a symbolic message of support for the female bond; a metaphor for the nurture and nourishment of sisterhood.

The Californian designer, whom regularly shows at Paris Fashion Week, cast an ensemble of gymnasts and dancers for the show, in order to create these human contortions. The performance seemed to pay homage to Annie Leibovitz image of Leigh Bowery, as the whole ensemble of restraint was juxtaposed with the act of supporting, and rebirth, whilst perhaps also implying the burden women silently carry.
The collection appeared to be the sombre aftermath of Ricks previously celebrated SS14 collection, where step dancers in tribe like motion united for war with an excursion of aggression and strength. This year however, the female tribe saw strength in serenity. As the models walked with windswept hair through the industrial concrete warzone setting, there was a calmness in the air. The conflict had ended and by no means would a woman be left behind.

The clothes, although not the first main attraction, were just as expressive and intriguing. Signature to Owens style, parachute-like draped silhouettes in earthy tones formed the new ready to wear line. The collection included boxy sleeveless jackets with crisp cutaway sleeves that slung loosely over semi sheer tops and liquorish black metallic shorts. Platform utility gladiators tied in his gothic aesthetic, and were worn with feather-light bomber jackets and silk organza shift dresses in shades of rust, sand and stone greys that formed beautiful folds around the hips.

The show was as bizarre as it was exquisitely emotive and powerful. Quintessentially Owens, his innovative celebration of women proved yet again to be another headline-gaining show of the season. Pandemonium is something he is renowned for, and provocative human backpacks certainly does just that.

Until Next Time, Emma x

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