Rick Owens SS24 – Paris Fashion Week
The American designer brings 'sombre sobriety' to PFW. By Magdalen Manning
For Rick Owens SS24 at Paris Fashion Week, the iconic American designer found himself slightly at odds with the life-affirming energy he witnessed at a Bjork concert a few weeks earlier. “She expressed hope,” he explained, “I suppose I express resignation. My default setting is to propose a more sombre sobriety respectful of an ailing and struggling world observing a war.”
Emerging from clouds of smoke in this year’s pink (perhaps as a concession to Bjork’s perceived outlook), the designer’s renowned melancholic aesthetics came wrapped in highly-constructed, futurist silhouettes that, conversely, presented us with an atmosphere of transformation and optimism. Structured leather skirts and trousers created an air of stark elegance, whilst over-dyed denim arrived long, narrow and high-waisted.
Draped and paired alongside these strict materials were relaxed jerseys, assembled into fantastical shapes that seemed other-worldly. Skyscraper, calf-length strapped sandals with tiers of platforms added further drama and depth to the proposition. Overlaid, modest yet crisp tunics and robes cut from the finest Habotai silk trailed panels that floated in constant motion around the body.
Set against the imposing early 20th century architecture of the Palais de Tokyo, shades of muted grey and dramatic blacks were broken up by welcome tones of exultant reds and tender rosés. Heads and eyes were sometimes covered with voile shrouds and futuristic sunglasses that offered an empathetic message, heightened by a sense of the unknown.
Voluminous gowns made from acres of tulle or silk organza snaked around the body like modern art pieces. Cropped leather biker jackets with extravagantly sculpted shoulders were made to ‘distort and corrupt the figure,’ and even Owens’ favoured Hun’s travel bag was remixed into a sling silhouette and covered in layers of chiffon.
It was appropriate then that the soundtrack to Rick Owens SS24 was a remix of Diana Ross’ most recent single I Still Believe. The song was refashioned as a soaring hymn to mirror the collection’s assertion of faith in us all, despite the ever-present trials we have to face.
To read our review of the RIck Owens AW23 show from PFW, click here
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