Rick Owens Fall 2020 menswear collection opened with a jaw dropping eye opener, womenswear for the boys with flowing golden locks and the tan, ripped body of a Rick Owens/Fabio hybrid look-a-like named Tyrone Dylan Susman. Susman has become a leading muse in Rick Owens work of late. The model’s Greek god-like physique was fully displayed in a sleek, pared down cashmere asymmetrically cut bodysuit that left one arm and one leg completely bare. It was the first of many slightly feminine and elegantly draped knit bodysuits that Rick Owens crafted in a tribute to David Bowie.
It’s rare to see the male form revealed with these kind of body con silhouettes more typically seen in womenswear. Many cutaway garments fell diagonally across the body, revealing shoulders and legs with an almost peekaboo flirtation. Asymmetric cut gowns with leggy displays and off the shoulder necklines are almost shorthand for “sexy” when it comes to womenswear, but you have never seen this in menswear before. The effect was further heightened with long haired wigs, flowing elegant coats, and an abundance of platform heels. Rick Owens is not the first designer to put a man in a sexy revealing body suit (Rick Owens makes no bones about crediting the idea to designer Kansai Yamamoto’s who designed iconic body suits for David Bowie), but we you have never seen it presented as such a wearable, and for all intentional purposes menswear proposition.
While the leggy bodysuits are sure to send tongues wagging, there were some undeniably crowd pleasing offerings that included some uncharacteristically colorful shearling biker jackets. The best came in a classic combination of black and dove grey as well as a playful Transformers burnt orange and powder blue combination. An ultra-glam yellow and white python snakeskin suit with biker pants details as well as some unusual football shaped knee insets referenced Le Corbusier’s Modular Man – which looks like a blocky figure made from the swirly spirals of a DNA strand… or a bunch of footballs. Modular Man is also responsible for inspiring the massive shoulders on a few of the longer coats, including the blown up versions of the upturned sculpted shoulders from the Larry collection for Fall 2019. Those huge shoulders probably won’t prompt many sales, but they make for a very good show. The collection includes plenty of Rick’s characteristically lean, bias cut jackets and coats in both hip length and long trailing overcoats.
The name of this collection, Performa, tells us Rick is contemplating how people perform for society, and how the role of clothing supports how we shape others’ projections of ourselves. He asks the question of if clothing is more a performance of who we want to be, or if it genuinely reflects who we are. That’s a pretty tough question to answer, and instead of giving a blatant answer (as the name implies, he may be leaning in a different direction on that), it looks like Owens mostly wants to have fun exploring the thought without getting too serious about it.