By Miles Socha
Neil Young singing his poignant and pointed “After the Goldrush” accompanied a Rick Owens collection that had been smoothed of the usual hard edges — yet still had a strong message.
“This season I got very soft,” the designer mused backstage as models traipsed around, hoisting their elephantine pant legs to reveal socklike sneakers in collaboration with Adidas. It was a new take on the Runner, its angular heels smoothed into a sleek wedge.
Owens carried over his big pants from last fall, also continuing with bloblike drapes and whorled volumes. Indeed, his opening looks in gauzy gray fabrics approximated the gargantuan folds of blubber of this season’s mascot — a walrus.
Yet there was something regal about the cone-shaped silhouettes and the elaborate, sashlike folds worked into T-shirts and tops. “The pageantry of all that fabric,” said Owens, whose mind went to a Hyacinthe Rigaud portrait of Louis XIV, resplendent in a huge fleur de lys cape.
As the show progressed, Owens capped his pyramid-shaped pants with tiny, taut bomber jackets and leather blousons that stopped at the ribcage. The effect is of “lifting the torso, and it looks as if it’s lifting the spirit,” he said, calling the look “more transcendent.”
One could also say ecclesiastical, especially when Owens added shiny embroideries with radiant lines, like depictions of the Sacred Heart, to loose black robes and sculpted tuxedo jackets. It’s a descriptor coming up more frequently as the Paris season picks up steam. Owens’ priestly take on black-tie was certainly divine.