Rick Owens is a pillar of Paris Fashion Week. Living and working in the city since he started his eponymous brand, Rick’s signature silhouettes, dark influences and innovative design concepts have earned him a fierce reputation as one of the week’s institutions, and Thursday evening was no different.
Presenting the AW22 show in a relatively anonymous warehouse-style space, the brand directed all eyes to the collection. It was in direct contrast to the presentation last season, which was held in a huge outdoor arena, and set to thumping beats. This time, Rick Owens chose a comparatively intimate venue, and classical music to transport us to his otherworldly concept for this season.
Shrouded in smoke, figures emerged on the catwalk in cropped leather shearling jackets, which came in pinks, oranges and cool creams. Featuring patchwork panelling and long faux fur on the wrists, these formed a rounded silhouette for the models’ upper halves, whilst doing the visual work of lengthening the skirts that they were paired with.
These skirts were perhaps the most prominent new silhouette in the collection – maxi-length, and form fitting until the bottom, when they flared out in what would have been described as a fishtail style in any other collection. However, with Rick Owens’ pieces, they trailed behind the wearer, adding the fluidity, energy and kineticism that Owens’ garments so often possess. In contrast to Rick’s usual predominantly dark colour palettes, these came in orange, neon yellow, light sequin and turquoise iterations, amongst others.
Elsewhere, Owens deployed a signature design motif on a series of oversized bomber jackets, coats and blazers – protruding shoulders. With a rounded point, and reminiscent of his own personal uniform, the silhouette was also reworked into a new style of shorter, more upright shoulder points that had the effect of emulating wing stumps on the wearer. But in Owens’ world, you could never be sure if these were to be angel or devil wings.
The brand also gave us new colourways and materials of the splint-boot that first debuted in its SS22 collection. Travelling up to the thigh, strongly platformed and held together with laddered straps, these came in leather blues, fur creams and burnt orange. In the show’s midsection, we saw a legion of alien-like looks, which included lengthy vinyl dresses with orbital structural detail in neutral tones. The collection could have as easily been part of the Dune costume as styled on Kim Kardashian. But perhaps this sentiment speaks to Rick’s genius – a design aesthetic that extends itself from cinematic feats to the streetstyle of the stars. This collection reaffirmed that it’s still Rick’s world – wherever that may be.
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See also: PAN(DEM)IC OVER, RICK OWENS IS BACK