Rick Owens

Limo, as in limousine, was the title of his show and the name of the game this season for Rick Owens. It started with his men’s collection in January, which consisted of elegant Napoleonic waistcoats and chiffon trains. Today he opened his women’s collection with the same satin-trimmed vests, this time worn with down-filled capes that were tossed over the shoulders and came to aerodynamic peaks.

While creating this collection in his studio bunker, with Liza Minnelli playing in the background, Owens spoke admiringly of Charles James, the 1940s punk couturier known for his architectural and hyper-structured gowns, some involving as many as twenty layers of interfacing and enough boning to stand on their own. Owens was imagining an alternate life for himself, that of an L.A. renegade making beautiful dresses for a few discerning clients, even if a grand palais in Paris is a far cry from Santa Monica Boulevard.

A series of full-length gowns in stretch grosgrain clung to the body like a snaky second skin. Shown with ankle-length gloves, these girls cut quite the sleek figure. On the craftier side, waxed and painted cotton ankle skirts were shown under paper-thin, waxed-leather tunics and pekan fur capes. And it wouldn’t be Rick Owens without hardcore footwear. This season’s patchwork leather thigh-high boots, featuring rows of tongue-like protrusions, had all the smoothness of a Brancusi.

There were some fun fur pieces too. Aside from the mink wimples fit for a less-than-austere nun, especially here with crimson lips, a few vests combined mink, beaver and fox for a super-gloss effect. Not to be dismissed was a series of molded leather and wool jackets worn over heavy cashmere knits which spread out like diaphanous peplums—a perfect marriage of motocross and monastery.

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