Rick Owens, or the Lord of Darkness as his cult following like to refer to him as, is officially out of his dark era, well sort of. We’ve seen the designer play with colour intermittently in the past, but with this SS24 collection, it seems as though colour is no longer an extension but rather tethered to the Rick Owens universe.
For his FW23 collection, Rick Owens did something no Carti-listening Opium subscriber thought possible: he used fuschia pink sequins on a series of inflated pieces. It was the peak culmination of several seasons that saw the American designer venture out of his dark cave. The opinions were mixed – you either loved or hated this experimentation – but it was a testament to Owens’ ability to break free from the confines he had set for himself.
Then came the SS24 menswear Lido show (which is also the title of this womenswear show), and Owens was back to black. The Brenda Hashtag followers dropped to their knees in appreciation for the mainly monochromatic collection. But Owens does as Owens wants, and for SS24 he wanted colour.
We saw browns, reds, beiges, pale pinks and sandy oranges take up the whole outfit on leather ensembles, parachute-style capes, duvet-style inflated structural pieces reminiscent of those FW23 sequined looks and draped dresses.
Colours or not, what really stood out this show is Owens’ take on shapes, specifically how clothing can be used to extend the human’s skeletal structure and, at times, deform. In fact, ever since colour has been incorporated into his collections, the designer has been pushing his limits more than ever in terms of shaping and structuring his pieces.
Shoulders have always been a focal point of the Rick Owens world, and this season we saw them being pushed to new heights, literally. The menswear SS24 high-top shoulder jacket came back for a womenswear iteration, while other leather jackets had padded, angular shoulders that pointed at a higher-than-90 degree angle.
The shoulders came to their denouement in a series of architectural pieces made out of a semi-transparent fabric that extended the shoulder above the models’ heads. These looks – let’s face it, as most of the collection – fed into that dark, mythical world that lends itself to the Occult vibes that Owens is known for (and the black eye contacts sure did reinforce that notion).
Most models came down the runway wearing a translucent veil, most in black but others in the aforementioned colours, the type that we expect Owens to receive a bulk order from Kanye any second now. It’s a new play on headwear we see from the designer who has been experimenting with head covers since his debut FW02 collection. This only added to the dark mystique of the show, though juxtaposed with the yellow and pink smoke that covered the outdoor court and the personally remixed by Rick Owens sound of Diana Ross’ “I still believe in love.”
One quick note on footwear for the Rick Owens die-hards that will have probably already noticed a reiteration of the FW23 Splint shoe. This season it was merged together with the signature Kiss boot. Considering the way the wind was blowing and some models wobbling down the stairs of the Palais de Tokyo, the cast-like footwear
Yet again, Rick Owens doesn’t miss. Season by season, we witness the evolution of the Lord of Darkness’ universe which always feels connected to his core pillars: a subversive take on fashion and an insatiable curiosity for growth within a constrained aesthetic.
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