"This is not Rick Owens music," said one front row guest familiar with the designer's preference for chest vibratingly loud show soundtracks. The melodic notes of "Fantasy in C Major" by Poco Lento certainly did indicate a change in direction for the designer.
Could this mean we were about to see .... Romantic Rick?
To a certain extent, yes. The collection, with its voluminous tulle dresses floating at angles away from the body and embellished at times with intricate smocking, angular panels of felted wool or strips of leather, had a femininity to them that Owens has recently been steering clear from.
Sometimes models stalked the catwalk in their thick saw toothed sandals painted head to toe in chalky white. Disturbing mélanges of porcelain dolls and White Walkers. But they still managed to look rather ethereal in their layered tulle strapless dresses, handkerchief hemlined shorts and hand effacing long sleeved coats.
However, between all the layers of flou Owens also introduced a sense of structure and architectural composition into his designs. Apparently, he had challenged himself to see if he could build a collection out of tulle that would echo the style of Brutalist architect Marcel Breuer. Whose massive concrete buildings can be found populating cities around the globe.
Luckily, Owens was able to imbue his collection with an urban color palette, rugged construction and sensation of strength without taking on board the Brutalist’s exaggerated love of functionality or its straightforward approach. Rick Owens wouldn’t be Rick Owens if he didn’t make you work for it at least a little bit.