Primal urges, a masturbating faun, ballet, painted men, it is of course, Rick Owens.
Someone should really consider giving Rick Owens a slot on the haute couture schedule, because what he does is just beyond. Vaslav Nijinsky’s controversial ballet Afternoon of the Faun from 1912 was on the agenda at Owenscorp where models in super voluminous, stiff shorts mimicked the shape of the fantasy creature, but it was the scene in which the faun steals a nymph’s scarf and masturbates to it, which had Owens thinking of the contrast between primal urges and the artificial world of ballet. Something of a complicated reference, it was surprisingly easily conveyed in one of the designer’s most colourful collections ever. “I really felt great about it. They came out the way I wanted them to,” Rick said backstage.
Models, some painted chalky white or green all over, wore cropped marbled jumpsuits and little shorts with strands of fabric wrapped through them, echoing the wrapping of some models’ hair around the face like they were some kind of elves. Lightweight performance fabrics clung to their abs and bones, and the undressed nature of the faun was continuously represented in naked torsos and less naked torsos with coats suspended from the back. “When you go to the disco, I hate checking my jacket so it’s a way you can dance with your jacket on,” Rick noted. A Swizzy Mac soundtrack saw the boys down the runway adding some old-school Owens attitude to a show, which could easily have changed character with the addition of classical music. “It’s actually like a hundred times faster and I slowed it way down to make it more evil,” Rick said.
Opening the show, Benoit Taupin – a young artist, who’s been a part of Owens’ regular cast for some time – played something of a central role in the collection. “I’ve been focusing on teams, which last season I narrowed down to my team, and this time I narrowed it down to an individual person,” Rick explained, recounting how Michèle Lamy had taken Taupin into their house when he was going through a difficult time. “Michèle has become kind of his mentor, and to thank her he leaves all of these drawings of her around the house. So all the embroideries are her and him—maybe me, I’m not sure,” he said of the embroidered face motifs on long jumpers, which brought the craftsmanship scale of the collection through the roof.