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"Glunge" as Rick Owens calls it, is a perfect synthesis of glamour and grunge — his trademark style. However, this season Owens seems to be moving more towards a futuristic, otherworldly sort of glamour .“It’s a collection about play,” he explains. “I see myself balancing out a world that can be kind of very strict in its aesthetics. There have to be people like me that have other suggestions.”

And push aesthetics very well he has. 

Growing up in California, he moved to Los Angeles to study art at Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles. After dropping out to take pattern-making and draping courses at Los Angeles Trade-Technical College, he began to pursue work in the garment industry. Owens’ practical knowledge of draping and cutting materials comes to the fore in his AW20 collection, where his bold silhouettes are cut in “peeled” cashmere, the fabric “slashed” and “draped” around the body.

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When Owens went to work for sportswear designer Michèle Lamy, they fell in love. They have since launched their collaborative design brand, Owenscorp. Despite the scattered start to his design career, he has proceeded to launch five more fashion design brands, even successfully breaking into furniture design back in 2005, with pieces made of raw plywood and marble displayed in the Musée D’Art Moderne in Paris.

“As time passes,” he said in 2006, “I want to become more and more Rick Owens.” 

Owens’ belief in the strength of his design identity translates into the bold cuts and dynamism of his Fall 2020 collection. A slick silhouette of slip dresses and high boots is taken to new heights with padded shoulder jackets and flowing capes. A variety of textures are enmeshed in Owens' design creations: faux-croc, leather, knit. A futuristic take on your typical Autumn/Winter essentials of a jacket, bag and gloves, except the models are stepping out of smoke onto the runway as if transported from straight out of a spaceship.  

This intensity and defiance of shapes and colours is coupled with a certain sensuality: the flash of leg repeatedly peeking through his high cut slip dresses, seemingly the new erogenous zone of the season.

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The colour spectrum evokes a Martian-like setting: a stony colour palette that sometimes creeps into emerald, ruby and topaz hues, grounded by earthy greys and browns. Accessories are blocked and designed in the same muted shades; block bangles, knee-high boots, and metallic visors. In fact, all the details and shapes are simple, but each look is the sum of its parts; it is the gravitas of each look as a whole which serves the drama.

The models channel Owens’ powerful designs in the sense of determination that powers their stride, their destination firmly in the frame of their reflective visors. 

Rick Owens is always fearlessly treading the path to another world; an alien fantasy, as revealed to us in his latest runway show.

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