Rick Owens recruited 200 students to join his army of love for SS25

Rick Owens recruited 200 students to join his army of love for SS25

by Ollie Cox
6 min

Ask 200 hundred students about joining the army, and they’d probably look at you like you’re an alien. But ask a group of 200 fashion students if they want to join Rick Owens’ “white satin army of love” for his Spring/Summer 2025 show, and the answer would be an overwhelming yes. And Owens’ fashion conscription was what we saw on the runway today, with an army of students joining legions of Rick Owens-clad invaders as they descended into the Palais De Tokyo – marking a return to his usual show space following some semi-closed off runways inside the Palais De Rick, coinciding with 30 years of the brand. 

The decision to return and cast these students resulted from recent, more intimate show settings. In a set of accompanying show notes, Rick wrote that the decision to return to the space was because he “felt bad about making attendance so restricted, so this time around, I wanted to welcome everyone. I asked all the fashion schools in Paris to send us students and faculty men or women who like to walk in this white satin army of love. Backstage before the show, thumping techno could be heard pouring out of the cavernous high ceilings of the Palais De Tokyo, the message of unity was carried in the Beethoven Symphony No. 7 soundtrack, with its vibrations disturbing the tranquil surface of the centre body of water.

If you want to know more about Rick Owens’ Hollywood collection, just ask Tyrone Dylan, who, along with the rest of the models, instead of “being a sinner [was] all pure and angelic and white. This is the future,” he told us after the show.  

Owens continued the community-minded casting by inviting old friends onto the catwalk, including Jakob Jakobsson, who opened Rick Owens’ second show in New York 22 years ago, and Allanah Starr, one of the grand dames of the trans community. 

Hollywood, but not how you think 
OWENSCORP / Valerio Mezzanotti ©

Rick Owens’ Spring/Summer 2025 collection was titled “Hollywood,” serving as an ode to the neighbourhood he fled to find his tribe, leaving behind small-minded Porterville, the name of his Fall/Winter 2024 collection. Self-describing his people as “weirdos and freaks,” Rick Owens today has garnered a community and shared sense of belonging from devout brand followers. Owens offers representation to those who may not otherwise see themselves on the polished runways of Paris, and today’s army of 200 street cast students only pushed this sense of belonging further. Visually, headdressed models nodded to the golden age of Hollywood, with today’s looks referencing the costumes found in the likes of Cecil B. DeMille’s 1934 movie Cleopatra. 

Tyrone Dylan and his troops opened up the show 
OWENSCORP / Valerio Mezzanotti ©

Rick Owens’ muse Tyrone Dylan opened the show, descending the steps of the Palais de Tokyo wearing a semi-sheer floor-length hooded gown that exposed knee-high leather Kiss Boots worn beneath. Like a general leading his troops into battle, Tyrone was followed by an army of models donning similar gowns as they invaded the Parisian landmark, circling its centre pond without breaking formation. 

White robes everywhere 
OWENSCORP / Valerio Mezzanotti ©

The look was followed by an avant-garde Dune-esque look, which saw skin-clinging silk tops accented with protruding angular shoulder pads. Some models had their faces painted white, with exaggerated eyeliner bringing some on-brand goth energy. Denim capes were crafted from Japanese denim and featured a tarnished gold mega crust coating, adding a worn-in touch to the uniform. Later looks saw arched ornamental headdresses distinguish between the Rick Owens ranks, in keeping with the minimal, avant-garde aesthetic that has consistently won over the fashion crowd since its first collection in 1994. 

These avant-garde design gems were punctuated with hooded biker jackets crafted from vegetable-tanned parchment cowhide, worn over knitted body suits, and chunky white sneakers, offering something for die-hard fans and the in-the-know yet slightly less daring fashion heads. Other notable footwear inclusions were the knee-high boots we saw last season, which were made in collaboration with Straytukay, a London-based designer. Only this time around were they were deflated. 

A Biblical epic 

Rick wanted to reference the “lost Hollywood of pre-code black and white biblical epics” and today, the Lord of Darkness gave us exactly that. Just when you thought things couldn’t get any bigger, and walking down the steps of the Palais De Tokyo couldn’t get any harder, models carried a pyramid of models onto the runway. On top of that, even more models served as the standard bearer for Rick’s army. The flag depicted two hand-holding characters, nodding to the feelings of community and togetherness fostered in the show. 

Literal references to the Bible are not uncommon in the world of Rick Owens. The designer often references philosophy and mythology, like when in 2018 Owens depicted the ancient Greek myth of Sisyphus, nodding to the giant rock that needed to be carried up the hill. The ancient references likely stem from the designer’s upbringing, which saw him homeschooled in art, philosophy, and literature. 

Supporting the next generation 

Owens didn’t just support the next-gen in his casting, but he actually got them to work on the collection, too. Knit bodysuits and T-shirts were made in collaboration with Tanja Vidic, a recent fashion graduate from Slovenia known for his DIY knits. And if they’re good enough for Rick, they’re deffo good enough for you and me. 

Rick Owens’ Spring/Summer 2025, will go down in history, where future fashion students will collectively adore, unpack, and reference it in their work. We saw Rick explore his signature silhouettes, where pointed shoulders and grunge-tinged references informed an epic avant-garde display. 

Cover image: OWENSCORP / Valerio Mezzanotti ©

More on Culted 

See: Is Rick Owens the designer of our generation?

See: Culted Community Talks: Rick Owens Blow up boots

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