Does Rick Owens have a sweet tooth?
Donuts and spun sugar were among the terms the designer used backstage to describe his fabric loops, introduced last season in puffer format, here for spring approximated with layers of eco-nylon tulle sewn together with strips of silk organza.
“Or orgasm-o, as we call it in the studio,” he said in his teasing fashion.
“I was trying to reduce clothes to just the most elemental thing, and donuts in the duvet fabric, they work everywhere — on the plane, or you can throw it on the floor for a dog bed.”
That would be one spoiled dog. Donuts in Owens’ fall collection retail from 1,850 euros for a simple cowl version up to 5,645 for a larger style paved in pink sequins.
In his quest for simple clothes, questions Owens asked himself this season included: What would Donald Judd do? What would Zoran do? What would John Chamberlain do?
Owens mimicked Chamberlain’s foam sculptures with bubble shaped minidresses in crumpled leather, while there was something Judd-esque about his boxy, voluminous jumpsuits in silk gazar.
“I was trying to do something elegant — a Parisian confection,” he said.
The show unfurled on a warm evening in the parvis of the Palais de Tokyo. Owens couldn’t resist some pyrotechnics: fuchsia and acid yellow smoke belching out from machines like erupting volcanos, and drifting over the audience.
But the soundtrack was Diana Ross crooning “I Still Believe in Love” as fresh rose petals rained down on the audience and collected in the central pool, around which the models minced slowly.
The clothes did not match the romance of the spectacle, which opened with narrow black fishtail gowns, and high-waisted jeans with the smallest bra tops imaginable.
There were tiny bomber jackets with Owens’ pointy shoulders, and leather tops with anvil-like protrusions. Stiff jackets in nylon mesh and denim had radical Venus flytrap collars that threatened to swallow the models’ heads.
The vivid reds were a surprise, but most of this collection felt familiar.
Meanwhile, the answer to the sweet tooth question is a resounding yes. It turns out Owens’ favorite treat is a vegan, gluten-free cream cake with strawberries that he eats with chocolate cupcakes from the Sacher Hotel in Vienna, famous for its Sacher-Torte.
Owens insists the cupcakes are better than the torte “because you get more icing per cake.”