Rick Owens Spring 2024
Back around the pool of the Palais de Tokyo, Rick Owens has potentially outdone himself with a show that had beautiful symmetry with the men's collection, but without a hint of mimicry or repetition. The techno and fireworks from earlier in the year were swapped out for a bolshy, confident and concentrated post-apocalyptic energy that sent model-cum-alien hybrids floating down the concrete steps as if reincarnated from a gothic Pompeii.
There were still the infamous pyrotechnic bombs of pink cordite and yellow ash suffocating the air. Charging through this inhospitable wreckage, the army of models stormed like survivors, presenting not just a fashion collection but a planetary takeover.
The hazmat suits were of particular note, with their billowing formlessness that blurred the boundary between the body and the fabric. Each suit was crowned with an impenetrable hooded veil, reminiscent of space suits or fencing masks, tasked with protection. Unlike the menswear collection, which featured a black suite of silhouettes, Owens reached for colour with brilliant effect. He employed a range of hematite shades of steel, silver-grey, burnt orange and carmine red, which oxidised against the natural hues of the concrete stairs.
Structurally, the tailoring was rigid and precise. There were ultra-restrictive cuts that served to mutate and morph the female form into something altogether less human. Cylindrical tube dresses were covered in cosmic dust, with leather gloves and blown-out black eyes adding to the subversive celestial darkness.
The collection was a vast expansion of the Rick Owens universe. It retained plenty of the designer's cult tropes, including his self-penned “glunge” aesthetic, the footcast shoe, which was reheeled in glass, and the inflated shoulder pad, which was amplified to new heights, enshrining models in almost monstrous proportions.
Icelandic iconoclast Björk served as a point of inspiration for this collection, with her supernatural persona informing the otherworldly spirit. It felt like the peak of Rick Owens' aesthetic: eccentric, dark, and magical, with amped-up cinematic flair.
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