For his spring 2017 offering, Rick Owens’ expectedly unexpected set of inspirations included a Hyacinthe Rigaud portrait of Louis XIV, but you’d be hard-pressed to find the slightest trace of nostalgia or historicism in this beautiful collection.
A modernist who shares that denomination with Helmut Lang and Raf Simons, among few others, Owens occupies the now, and the singular, goth-tinged world he envisions.
Developing a theme started last January, he opened the show with roomy draped white tops and pants, creating eerily moving waves as the models sauntered down the runway. In the same vein, he experimented with bright yellow and orange on tops that were twisted in an arch on the front, his idea of a diagram that would have been drawn by Madame Grès, the legendary couturière and draping master.
Then the show moved to the other star silhouette: tight on top and elephantine at bottom, with wide-legged pants, some of them in taffeta. Tops included cropped jackets, tuxedos, and tight T-shirts, some of which sported geometric embroideries.
It all made for a dignified, elegant, and soulful collection, a feeling enforced by Neil Young’s searing After the Goldrush on the soundtrack, filling the cavernous Palais de Tokyo underground space that has become the regular venue for Owens’ fashion wonders.