Images courtesy of gorunway.com

We watched the world burn at Rick Owens Men's SS23

Weathered, apocalyptic garments were also inspired by the designer's recent trip to Egypt.

by Mahoro Seward
|
24 June 2022, 5:50pm

Images courtesy of gorunway.com

Yesterday, at Rick OwensSS23 menswear show, we literally sat and watched the world burn. Well, not much the world itself, but rather ostensible representations of it. Spherical orbs dangled from cranes, set alight, and plonked into a pool installed in the courtyard of the Palais de Tokyo, over and over again. While it could’ve been read as a cipher for the seemingly endless avalanche of disasters — physical and social — that have blighted our newsfeed of late, the scale of what Rick was nodding to was a little grander. Rather, it was an investigation of “senseless destruction on repeat since the beginning of time”.

The fashion designer’s focus on this sense of Sisyphean repeat owes much to recent time spent in Egypt. There, he was stuck by the ego-diminishing sense of history and permanence of its temples and relics left behind by civilisations that fell long ago, triggering a realisation that our contemporary tragedies and concerns are but blips on a timeline more vast than we can grasp.

That sense of permeance coloured many of the clothes that made up Edfu, a collection named after a temple just outside Luxor. Bulked out jackets in dry cotton, stiff organza and bleached, blown-up plaids had an unweatherable presence to them, often cinched to dramatically accentuate the silhouette. Roomy hooded robes had a monastic stoicism to them, while horn-shouldered bombers felt like they could have been a nod to Hathor, the Egyptian god. 

The same motif could be found on oversized tees in gossamer jerseys, conjuring – on the contrary – a distinct sense of transience, fluttering against the wearer’s body. Ribbed jersey tanks were reduced to their binding, as if eroded over the course of time, and scrims of chiffon floated about a selection of the later looks with a ghostly eeriness that was felt in glycerin-treated, translucent leather pieces.

Model walking for Rick Owens SS23 menswear show

Against this timeless backdrop were pieces that screamed contemporaneity with loud neon yellow python bombers and wide-leg trousers, and an iridescent purple pirarucu vest screaming contemporary kitsch. Denim cargo trousers and skintight tops were lacquered with a scarab beetle finish and lemon chiffon hooded cloaks were draped over hot pink satin column dresses. While they certainly felt very much ‘of the moment’ to these pieces, there was still a solidity to them — they were clothes built to stand the unending test of time.

Model walking for Rick Owens SS23 menswear show
Model walking for Rick Owens SS23 menswear show
Model walking for Rick Owens SS23 menswear show
Model walking for Rick Owens SS23 menswear show
Model walking for Rick Owens SS23 menswear show
Model walking for Rick Owens SS23 menswear show
Model walking for Rick Owens SS23 menswear show
Model walking for Rick Owens SS23 menswear show
Model walking for Rick Owens SS23 menswear show
Metal ball on fire at Rick Owens SS23 menswear show

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Images courtesy of gorunway.com

Tagged:
Menswear
Rick Owens
Paris Fashion Week
SS23