Rick Owens: Ready-To-Wear AW24

Rick Owens has the blueprint for how to survive and thrive in a world that’s stacked against you. Total commitment is the only way and total authenticity is the net result. Owens’ approach to fashion is so heart felt that there’s always a sense of vulnerability, but at the same time it’s so definite, so powered by self belief, that it’s not just strong, but heroic. Rick is a religion. A way of life. 

This season he invited the fashion corps to his 7th arrondissement apartment, for an intimate show with its roots deep in his childhood. The show, called Porterville after his Californian home town, was “in response to growing up in a judgemental environment, hostile to an overtly sensitive young sissy”. He talked of his father who was restrictive but who introduced him to rapturous opera. It is his mission, he said, to counteract oppression “with this cheerful perversity”. Should that be a glorious, heroic perversity? His models had sinister smiles painted on their deathly white faces and wore clothes that crossed alien super civilisation with strange monastic sect. 

Knitted jumpsuits were worn with sweeping blanket capes or voluminous quilted and knotted cocoons that swaddled the body with extreme softness. The models walked in the designer’s latest cult item – inflatable boots trimmed, this season, in leather. 

Fish tail mermaid skirts spoke of to his obsession with Thirties screen sirens – high glamour and haute strangeness are happy bedfellows in Owens-land. The show ended with a series of striking cage-like gowns, made from tubes of glittering fabric. 

He told Vogue: “I’m offering other options than the narrow, strict, almost cruel aesthetic standards that we’re bombarded with every day,” he said. “It’s not an aggressive war, it’s a gentle teasing: Let’s blur the lines. When you blur the lines aesthetically, it makes other attitudes about acceptance blur.” Seductive and seditious – it’s the Owens way. It’s the only way. 

Photography courtesy of Owenscorp.


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