Rick Owens

“It was about service, duty, and responsibility,” Rick Owens said after a superb fall collection that confirmed his graduation from overtly aggressive effects to a more serene aesthetic.

Mostly black, the pieces still retained the fabled Rick mystique: angular jackets, coats that revealed white linings, snug knitwear, cropped duffle coats, and boots festooned with zippers. The show also reprised, in a calmer way, many of his recent themes: the cutaway shapes, the butcher’s gloves, even those slick, winged hairdos.

And the designer made what is surely the most convincing case for drag. His men’s skirts, which never screamed Candy, could have walked straight off the runway and into the street without scaring the passers-by in the busy Bercy neighborhood of Paris, where the show was held. Other flights of fancy were just as street-wise: chain-mail strips at the edge of coats and beautiful, bunched obi sashes that gracefully trailed down the floor. Finally, good service in France.

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