Friday, January 17, 2014

BEAUTY: Clothing--Rick Owens

I have said it before. I'll say it again: I am so glad there is a Rick Owens in this world. He is like an artist who creates art that cannot be defined... a Mapplethorpe or a Hirst. I am glad there are people who create things that annoy, chafe, or don't make sense to the status quo. Someone has to do it. And Owens, season after season, sends his own particular brand of futuristic, ecclesiastical minimalism down the runway for all of us to ogle. His collections always transport me to another place or time, and that place is often another planet and the time is one that probably has not happened yet. I love it.

For his '14-'15 Fall-Winter collection at Paris Fashion Week, he obviously looked to the desert for inspiration. His usual black and white palette is toned down here in favor of tan, brown, rust, and ecru. But his dedication to the Owens silhouette, a sort of sci-fi spartanism, is unflappable. We see the simplistic tunic, the asymmetrical shift, the odd loose boots that rise past the knee (I adore every boot Owens has ever made), and the wimple-like head gear (here made out of knit cashmere!).

I have also said before, and will say again here, that Owens might possibly have seen David Lynch's highly stylized 1984 film version of Frank Herbert's DUNE and that he might possibly be working out the costume ideas from that film, here, here, and here. I have never heard a fashion journalist make this connection before, but I imagine that when Owens saw "Dune" lo those years ago, he was either so inspired or traumatized by it, he has been trying to work it out ever since. To me, it seems obvious. Season after season, we have seen similar silhouettes and ideas that could have come from Bob Ringwood, the brilliant costume designer for "Dune." We have seen many an Owens collection that looked eerily like saint Alia of the Knife (for those who have not seen Lynch's "Dune," please do), complete with Bene Gesserit nun head coverings, or collections that looked like Guild Navigators! And here we are, back to Bene Gesserit habits. But this time it seems to be tempered with the idea of the Fremen, the desert dwellers on the sand-covered planet of Arakis Prime. There is even what looks like a safari vest (or Still Suit?) in the last look below...

Thank you Rick for your unwavering dedication to expressing your unique, singular aesthetic!

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