Rick Owens

Seconds before the first model entered Rick Owens’ runway, foam started dripping down a slanted backdrop. One French editor waxed nostalgic, wistful about the naughty 1990’s foam parties at gay nightclubs like Queen.

But louche promiscuity wasn’t the order of the day. Rather, the new collection mirrored the designer’s ongoing balancing act between couture and grittier fare. Indeed, the opening pleated sack dresses, often elastic-hemmed, had a frugal yet ethereal quality. Deceptively minimal, they were cut in intriguing translucent fabrics.

The palette of beiges and off-whites was occasionally illuminated by an esoteric gold circle, completing a geometric motif on a peak-shouldered jacket, or column dresses with a metallic sheen. These were unmistakable nods to Owens’ inspirations, Gustav Klimt and the Ballets Russes, in a highly tactile show. You desperately wanted to reach out and touch these sci-fi heroines, with their geometric haircuts and long white dresses embroidered with ostrich feathers.

By show’s end, the foam blobs had amassed into a giant pool, reinforcing the otherworldly feel.

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