The arrival of the first pair was like a jolt to the system. It was look number four. A model was wearing a traditional, by Rick Owens standards, sleeveless long jacket, shorts, and a semi-sheer top. Her only accoutrement – the woman strapped to her back with her straight legs sticking out.
Pens began to madly scribble down words in notebooks. Support. Hold. Powerful. Carry. Strong. Bondage. These were just a few of the terms that sparked in the mind as the collection progressed and more and more models came trussed up in harnesses or, as one bemused spectator suggested, “adult Baby Bjorns.” The effect, when paired with the touching live music of Eska singing the song “This Land” from the movie “Exodus,” was both deeply moving and understandably disturbing.
When Owens wasn’t creating abstract shapes thanks to the Siamese twin-like pairing of women, he was doing a pretty fine job of it in the fabrication of most of his collection. His abstract shift dresses were designed with a sculptural fluidity to them thanks to the introduction of a coil of organza or a whorl of metallic leather at the hips to satellite about the body.
However, all the folding and draping of fabric in abstract, but still somehow organic, designs did not mean that Owens was more interested in creating a live art performance than he was with offering up some viable clothing. The most commercial, and yet just as compelling, were the feather light organza bomber jackets that Owens designed to defy convention by intentionally letting its structured form fall away at the back. The expertly cut sleeveless jackets and amorphic shift dresses also have a foreseeable future outside the fashion show.