In a continuation of his Spring 2020 menswear collection, Rick Owens is back with part two of an exploration of his Mexican heritage. Owens depicted Aztec goddess worship and ancient rituals from Mexican culture. Goddess-like Models in massive sculpted headdresses wore fantastical silhouettes in some of the most colorful looks we’ve seen from Owens. The rich color palette of pink, yellow, and red was influenced by Mexican architect Luis Barragan.
Owens collaborated with designers Wintercroft on the show-stealing head gear worn by many of the models. The “metallic alien Aztec crowns might have come from a Fritz Lang movie.” The film Owens had in mind was certainly Metropolis – a dystopian tale of an industrial city whose working class are subject to hard physical labour and poverty to support the extravagance of the upper ruling class. In his menswear collection Owens used the logo from the United Farm Workers organization on t-shirts, the parallel between Metropolis’ working class and the labor migrant workers provide in the US seems to be a knowing one. In addition to Owens’ signature sharp square shouldered jackets, some had upwards curved round shoulders – a clear reference to the sculpted metal shoulders of Lang’s robot, the Maschinenmensch, in the film “Metropolis.” Curved style lines over the hips of his architectural gowns also referenced both a classic corset and a machinelike joint, while sculpted duchesse satin bombers with padded cording further echoed the machine-like aesthetic.
The appearance of voluminous gowns was also an unexpected addition to Owens’ repertoire. They came in two versions – stiffly sculpted with oversize piping, and a softer micro-pleated gowns in which tiny pleating was stitched down in planes resembling the palm fronds used in traditional basket weaving from the Mixtec region. These sculptural dresses worn as coats are a work of art in their own right. Both gowns were also reinterpreted as short sleeve jackets and tops for a more wearable option. Statement pieces that can also be worn with a simple pair of jeans, or a red carpet event with tuxedo pants or one of Rick Owens slinky skirts.
Footwear is always a highlight in Rick Owens collections. This season his iconic boots took on a cowboy aesthetic in calf hair with trapezoidal cutouts in both front and back. The frontal platforms were made from wood similar to the look of Rick Owens iconic furniture line, with a translucent or solid plexi-grill mounted over the toe, much like a car grill with clear plexiglass heels. Perhaps this a reference to the East L.A. lowrider culture Rick Owens used as the inspiration for his new retro futuristic low profile sunglasses. Regardless of his inspiration, we can always count on Rick Owens to be true to himself. This collection did not disappoint, and points to a new era of growth and discovery as Rick Owens delves further into his own personal narrative and global awareness.