A Moody Force: Rick Owens Paris Menswear Collection Autumn/Winter 2014-15
American-born, Paris-based designer Rick Owens is one of the most distinctive and visionary designers of the modern era. Since the founding of his label in 1994, he has created a radical avant-garde aesthetic. Initially described by critics as a mix of glamour and grunge, the label has evolved into a fully formed universe which defies such glib descriptors. Owens’ line is characterized by his unique silhouettes, distinctive cutting and treatments and an atmosphere of dark elegance that is effortless and unaffected.
Rick Owens’ Autumn/Winter 2014-15 menswear centered on a mediation on notions of authority and discipline, and the way society conforms to or rejects these concepts. The result was a collection that presented a legion of young warriors on the catwalk, united by a strict sartorial code.
The base look of the collection was a sleeveless tunic which appeared in host of variations, transformed from an oversized T-shirt into a severe dress, and rendered in different materials including cashmere and a thick unyielding leather.
A tunic shape with the feel of armor did nothing to dispel the notion of a Rick Owens paramilitary force stalking the runway, and the silhouette this created was powerfully and identifiably Owens when teamed with oversized shorts and high boots. Reflections on the military and police were continually present, with flak vests cast in strong leather and thick hide arms on jackets which referenced emergency gear.
Nods to street fashion were fundamental to the collection, with the shapes referencing and subverting trends in hip-hop: The headgear was a mixture of inner-city do-rag and an equally severe monastic headdress, seeming more like a science fiction head wrap.
The result was a collection that was unequivocally part of the Rick Owens evolving universe and a strong depiction of his sartorial commitments.