Rick Owens: Mexican mood, Aztec attitude
Rick Owens went back to his roots in North America this Thursday in Paris, but south of the border this season, not north of the Rio Grande.
His Mexican-born mother inspired Owens’ Spring 2020 collection; though it was Maria Félix – "the Dietrich of Mexican cinema" – who was the leitmotif of this powerful show. Last season Rick also referenced his mum, but this was a far deeper dive into Mexican imagery and history.
Few people in fashion stage more powerful shows than Owens and this was a vintage performance. Presented on the esplanade of the Palais de Tokyo, with the cast marching around its massive outdoor fountain and past its giant stone sculptures.
Rick’s strongest statements were the dark goddesses with Aztec royal headgear, worn over knit dresses that were slashed and buckled, all dramatically geometric.
Sleeveless coats were cut with power-mad shoulders; interlocking and overlapping knit panels made for some great dresses. While his famed fetish bumbags took on the shape of half-meter long abstract sculptures.
Owens entitled the collection Tecuatl. "Named after my grandmother’s Mixtec maiden name. I never really explored my Mexican-ness but the debate of a border wall made me more conscious of who I would be separated from," the California-born designer said in his program note.
Owens also broke new ground with his color palette – referencing Mexican architect Luis Barragán – famed for his boldly contrasting violets, raw golds and primal yellows.
Adding to the alien effect, a series of shaven-headed models had massive Mad Max meets Bride of Frankenstein curly wigs. Everyone marched before a dozen figures in black with rods that created thousands of bubbles – wafting by the audience like an arty foamy cloud.
Owens marched out to the top of the giant stairway to take his bow to intense cheers – his aquiline profile suddenly looking like some Montezuma de la Mode.
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