Rick Owens was a very popular collection locally last season with his step aerobics show. So popular, in fact, that people were still talking about it just last week, wondering what Owens might come up with for this season. I am going to be very curious to see just what their impressions and reactions are now, not only in terms of the less-dramatic show, but the less-dramatic clothing as well.

“I’m getting all New Agey in my own, abstract, do-it-yourself way.” Owens said, and that was very evident with a show at sunset with a wonderful view of the Eiffel Tower right outside. This is a more relaxed, more intimate Rick Owens than we’ve seen before. Gone were the in-your-face theatrics of previous seasons. Instead, this was almost a closing of the ranks, bringing in those people and things that are close to him. Models were people who are directly a part of Rick’s life, people he knows and works with daily. This was a gathering of the family tribe in beautiful and luxurious fashion.

Androgyny was as strong as it has ever been, with many comparisons being made between the silhouettes of this collection and those of Owens’ men’s collection shown just last month. Onsies are a strong element, which is about as asexual as one can get. At the same time, however, there are plenty of really large pieces that, when I first saw them and considering the weather that’s been plaguing Paris, concerned me that on someone of insufficient weight these might act as a sail and send them soaring into the wind. With those large pieces, Owens chose to cut arm holes unusually low, which I found curious though not necessarily impractical. The challenge might come when one needs to reach for something on a top shelf somewhere. I can envision some of these designs not handling that task the best. That’s not to say everything is all loose and large, though. He goes through a section of monochrome gray pieces that are actually quite fitting yet still full of very creative and interesting folds.

One of the things that immediately caught my attention was the footwear. I’ve mentioned before just how often we’ve seen thigh-high boots this season. Rick gives  us that same amount of leg coverage in a canvas tennis shoe; the very essence of comfort, I would think. Of course, he tended to pair them with monochrome looks, but I can easily imagine these becoming a standard part of one’s day wear, especially if winter continues to be as brutal as this one.

Rick did toss in one gimmick this season that took most everyone a moment to catch: he had models walking twice in the same outfit. No color change, or anything else. Exact same ensembles came down the catwalk more than once. Photographers were scratching their heads. Buyers and editors were furiously looking back through their notes. Wondering and astonished expressions covered almost every face that was capable of showing any expression. Perhaps this was Owens’ way of demonstrating how everything, and everyone, comes full circle in life. Or, perhaps it was just a genius method of making sure everyone was paying attention. Either way, it worked.

Rick Owens gives us a fall/winter collection that is noticeably different, but still likable and wearable in many ways. I will be very interested to see how his Midwestern fan base responds.

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