(Image from Vogue.com. All credit due)
I have been reviewing Rick Owens shows for a few years now, despite the fact that he is a unique and interesting artist, to simply define Owens as an avant-garde designer would not emphasize the precise characteristics of style that are completely synonymous with his name. What I admire and find inspiring by Owens and his collections is not only the attention to details, but the stalwart style that has been crafted over the years. It evolves rather than recreating it’s direction. A constant reminder and lesson, especially in the fashion and the arts – is to maintain core styles and develop those ideas as an adaption to push boundaries. Once again, Owens has chosen the subterranean venue of the Palais de Tokyo, as noted with my previous observations of prior shows, it is that representation of brutalism within the harsh concrete interior – a preferred setting to compliment the dark and unnerving designs of his past seasons.
With his Spring/Summer 2017 collection, there is now the introduction of colors, not completely unusual for Owens, there has been a slight dabble in the color palette, but from the pale-spectrum. As it has always been the dark browns, dark grays, purples and of course black that, within his distinct style, have taken center stage. However with this collection he has shifted dynamics, the darker and more dramatic colors have been removed, except for the black, leaving the paler-palette as the main color representation.
This is true mastery of ones ideas and creations, as a designer will shift between what they’ve utilized and learned, drawing out and emphasizing one part, at the same time reducing or temporarily removing the other. All the while maintaining that distinction of the their creation. For this Spring/Summer 2017 range, Owens has excelled with beautifully cut and draped styles. A sexy feminine appeal, light greens, browns, mauve and yellows (from pale to an intense reflection), creamy whites, rich purples – which sit divinely within the Byzantium spectrum. Could this be the sex appeal of a post dystopian future? An acceptance of the dark while drawing out the light.