I was in a Rick Owens video! OK, not exactly. But I was lucky enough to attend the Rick Owens show for Spring/Summer 2019. My regular readers probably caught a glimpse of the Rick Owens show in my Paris vlog. It was held in the court yard of the Palais de Tokyo. I got there early to make sure I got a good seat and indeed I did, I had a birds eye view of the show sitting right above the staircase leading to the sunken courtyard. I found myself in the video as I remembered the two young men standing behind me in their white shirts and the German woman I was sitting next to and speaking with throughout the show. It was a warm day and you can see me filming. I wrote in a previous post that I almost cried at this show—a combination of seeing all the hard work coming to fruition, the expression of creativity in the clothing, and the undeniably dark apocalyptic feel to this presentation.
Rick Owens certainly has his finger on the pulse of this dystopian pallor that has fallen across the globe
I read one review that described the collection as celebratory. Hmm not sure if celebratory is the word I would use exactly. Beautifully stark and the last vestiges of romance seem a bit more accurate. You would have to be living under a rock not to know what is happening in France right now. And I must say Rick Owens certainly has his finger on the pulse of this dystopian pallor that has fallen across the globe. The clothes with their Road Warrior appeal both attract and repel the viewer. Flowing graceful silhouettes contrast with futuristic military-esque ensembles with their war-torn weaves and frayed suggestions of disintegrating garments.
The models parading like vigilante soldiers in a barren world wore black masks over their eyes and carried burning torches, and one can not help but see the reference to the torch light parade. About half way through the show the Rick Owens icon was set ablaze. As the flames roared, a quite wind blew against my face and the heat coming from the pyre was startling. Thick black smoke unfurled in to the air above and I could only think of what the past was like with Europe on fire and fascism being the rule of the land, and then simultaneously also of the future, and what kind of future we could be facing.
Some see fashion as frivolous and indulgent and sometimes maybe it is. But not always
And it is even more startling now as we look at Paris burning for real. Some see fashion as frivolous and indulgent and sometimes maybe it is. But not always. As I sat on my perch above the entrance to the show I watched the attendees check in, some where ushered to the right and others ushered to the left. After a bit I realized that one side was for traditional media: the magazines and networks, and one side was for new media: influencers and Instagram stars otherwise known as disrupters.
I recognized some famous faces and one of them was Susie Bubble a well known fashion blogger who was clad in a cheerful red jacket worn over a filmy gold dress, her hair pulled up in the proverbial blogger bun. Shortly after this I recognized Suzy Menkes the infamous news and features editor of British Vogue. She arrived alone and walked very slow. I was surprised, I had had the impression she was younger then she actually is. But as I watched her walk slowly to her seat I felt like I was watching the past. A past that is being disrupted much too quickly. And the fashion and publishing industries are only two industries that are being up-ended by disrupters. Where exactly are we going as we hurtle towards the future and it’s technological dominance? When we can do more with less? What will be left?
Where is all this headed? Are the millennials and their off-spring prepared? Is this the last dance of humanity? Yep, this everything I took away from the Rick Owens show. So yes sometimes Fashion runs deeper then the latest fad and who is sitting front row.