(Images from Giovanni Giannoni/WWD. All rights. Photos used in promotion of RICK OWENS)
Rick Owens is a designer living in his own creative paradox. As fashion on a global scale, like most industries in an monetary inflated world, is now overblown. Excessive and in most cases pointless. Originality, uniqueness and challenging designs have been suppressed with aspirations of fame – without the effort. Such is the time that we are living in where everyone, as Andy Warhol once said, will get their “15 mins of fame”. To maintain influence and prestige in fashion, to those who have made it, such as Owens, one needs to, rather than push forward when he/she has already succeeded, is now to contradict. And the contradiction is from the self, which means you can change ideas, even it confuses the fan base – but at times this is a healthy disposition. Homogeneity, which is the biggest curse against creativity, as an idiom could be seen for the bases in a sociological argument that globalization has failed. It will be the designers, the creative that will see this before the highly strung academia.
Rick Owens Spring Summer 2018 presentation at the Palais de Tokyo is once again used as his favorite venue, but rather than using the brutalist concrete (encased) basement that he has for past shows. For his Men’s Spring Summer 2018 on a hot Paris day, it is the exposed monolith, runway creation – a homage to Owens interest in architecture and structure. The scaffolding fixture, that fits securely as a foreground presence against the historic Palais de Tokyo, maintains Owens quest in a renewal of design.
There are conflicting sentiments expressed with Rick Owens for his SS2018 collection suggested that ‘civilized formality’ is due. In reference to use the ‘blazer’ style. In a contradiction of fashion terminology, as one of the leading Avant-garde designers in the last twenty years, looking at the blazer as a civilized aesthetic. Holds a creative confusion more than anything else. I am a big fan of blazers, within formal wear that are the epitome of homogeneity in corporate attire. When broken down and remodeled they become a punk inspired fashion, seen as early testaments of the style in London 1976 – before leather jackets became the stalwart punk rock aesthetic. However, fashion as anti-establishment, is now a term which holds very little meaning politically in a polarized world. While we struggle to know what the “establishment” actually means. It is, like discussed, the contradictions, which can be distinctly based in fashion, as reworking of visual impression can create the ambiguity – that makes you unique.
Despite the grandiose setting, Rick Owens Spring Summer 2018 collection is minimalist in it’s array. Pieced together functionality, tight shorts, with construction/tactical style utility rigs/bags wrapped around the models waists and legs. The military ‘tactical’ aesthetic appeal, which is obvious, has been seen in collections from other designers this year. Combat inspired attire. Possibly influenced from the amount of anti-terrorist police and soldiers on the streets of European cities. Owens’s SS2018 collection is broken up into two parts, the rugged futuristic street apparel, stylized with a utility and tactical appeal and the more refined ‘Blazer’ styled formal wear. The palette lies within Owen’s usual color range, neutral blacks, grays and white. With slight browns and light blue shades.