Dear Shaded Viewers,
Paris’s Palais de Tokyo, with its stoic archways and imperial facade, resonated with an unusual energy as the first strains of Diana Ross’ voice serenaded attendees with the lyric, “I still believe in love.” This was Rick Owens’ Spring/Summer 2024 show, and while Ross’ voice was expected, the spirit behind the collection—attributed by Owens to a recent Björk concert he’d attended—was the real show-stealer.
Known for his austere aesthetics, Owens’ previous collections could be likened to a storm—dark, tempestuous, and powerful. This season, while the storm was still there, it was the calm after that seemed to dominate—a sort of tender luminescence. The influence of the Icelandic singer’s ethereal and avant-garde spirit felt interwoven into the very fabric of the collection.
The catwalk was a visual sonnet of contrasts. Models, their eyes cloaked in otherworldly black contacts, were the storm. But their clothes, especially the inaugural pieces, echoed the elusive light after the tempest. While the dramatic blacks and gentle greys were familiar territory for Owens, the addition of soft pinks and exultant reds felt like the first rays of dawn, symbolizing hope and renewal.
There’s no mistaking that this is still an Owens collection, mind you. The leather—sculpted, wrapped, and draped—was very much a protagonist, sourced meticulously from his trusted tannery outside Naples. But now, it was juxtaposed against the ethereal wisps of Habotai silk, which floated around the body like spectres.
Sustainability, once a buzzword, now seemed more personal for Owens. The Econyl® tulle, the organic cotton—each element felt like a statement, not of trend, but of responsibility. His candid admission of sustainability being a journey, not a destination, was refreshingly genuine.
As the final act commenced, models draped in jumpsuits that felt reminiscent of hazmat suits—an Owens twist, of course—walked amidst fuchsia fog and cascading rose petals. A dance between the romantic and the gothic, it was a representation of the world as Owens sees it, filled with contrasts yet harmoniously so.
Owens, this season, seems to have embarked on a journey of self-reflection and evolution. His sartorial lexicon expanded to embrace not just the shadows, but also the fleeting moments of light. One can’t help but feel that this collection, inspired by the ethereal Björk and echoing the timeless Diana Ross, is Owens’ way of saying that even in the most tumultuous of times, there is always a glimmer of hope, of love, of light.
In essence, Owens’ Spring/Summer 2024 collection is a testament to the ever-evolving dance between darkness and light, a poetic reminder that even Paris’s Prince of Darkness isn’t immune to the allure of luminosity.