Rick Owens is a calculative designer. He’s a master at encapsulating many of the current political issues and expressing them in a way, so as to create meaningful fashion. The very same day of his Spring 2019 show, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford provided searing emotional testimony against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. Although it was a distracting coincidence, it was impossible not to make the connection between Blasey Ford and the burning pyre at the center of his runway show in Paris.
The pyre was modeled after Tatlin’s Tower, a Russian Constructivist monument to communism and modernity that was never actually brought to fruition. “I wanted to burn down a utopian monument,” Owens said.
Around the burning tower walked his parade of so-called Mountain Witches, specifically “California witches because they’re in hiking boots and cut-off jeans. Where I grew up, that’s what we all wore….So I brought my utopian California youth to Paris and I’m setting it on fire.” Owens also collaborated with Birkenstock yet again; this time it was not sandals, but hiking boot inspired chunky high-top sneakers with straps in place of laces.
Contrasting delicately draped dresses trimmed in fringe and billowy maxi dresses were dramatic silhouettes with oversized, jutting angles and leather trim on shoulders and sleeves. The laser-cut leather, canvas robes and paneled hooded cloaks came with geometric scaffolding arm braces and matching headpieces referencing the uniform of super-heroines. And that was exactly how the models carried themselves. Every woman in his show radiated a sense of nobility. Ready to fight, but eager for a new day. Waiting, seething. How fitting.