Rick Owens’s startling chic starring Michèle Lamy
Always admirable to see a great designer celebrate his muse, as Rick Owens did Thursday, opening his latest show with Michèle Lamy, Rick’s wife, uber aesthete and one of France’s greatest living contributions to avant-garde culture.
Lamy taking a long procession around the fountains of the Palais de Tokyo, Rick’s favorite show location in Paris.
Attired in a black leather frock jutting out like a John Chamberlain car-crash with a mesh cape floating off her shoulders. Walking in Rick’s new dragoon’s thigh boots finished with Perspex heels and cutaway entirely at the back. For once her lipstick not black, but faded red. Passing by the modernist statues of ancient goddess in a huge plume of dry ice.
In a word, the opening look of the Paris season.
After that, the towering models in Bride of Frankenstein hairdos had to work hard for our attention, though their clothes were certainly admirably startling.
Staged in giant clouds of dry ice before the specially dried out fountain, the show marked the first live catwalk display by Owens after four seasons where he live-streamed from his recently adopted home on Venice’s Lido Beach.
“These Covid shows were about defiant ferocity in the face of adversity, but should returning to the Paris runways be about humility and a lesson learned? Or carpe diem?” mused the Californian-born designer.
Backed up by the industrial sounds of a Mochipet remix, the cast appeared in abstract sculptural dresses in Japanese denim – woven on ancient looms - or GOTS-certified organic cotton, over thigh boots that on closer inspection were cut-out waders.
His silhouette was power-heroine, inverted V-shaped boleros and coats, their sleeves cut off, the better to reveal the interior construction, horse hair, canvas and all.
Though Rick’s most out-there idea was the spider-web mohair dresses with moveable and removable holes that looked spun and knitted by a giant spider.
In among all this were his latest leather bombers and jackets, this season referencing Le Corbusier’s modular man concept. Instant cult items all.
Few path-breaking designers have had as much influence in fashion this past decade as Rick Owens, so it came as something of a surprise when he revealed that the cast at one point marched over jasmine leaves gathered on his terrace on the Lido.
Never thought we’d live to see the day when Rick became nostalgic.
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