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Eccentric Owens at Paris Fashion Week


Alas, Paris Fashion Week 2015 has bidden us adieu, but not without gracing our covetous eyes once again with an impressive assortment of stylish, outstanding and sophisticated soirées of clothing.

You’d think Miucci Prada’s professional-but-playful uniforms that scream ingénue businesswoman would be all the rage. Or perhaps Louis Vuitton’s sharp-edged dresses for fierce-eyed femme fatales were more to the people’s liking?

Yet, surprisingly — or, perhaps, unsurprisingly — the biggest shock this week was an incredible coupe on couture; a fashion faux pas. The saboteur responsible was someone who had done this before.

The show reached its climax when a surge of aesthetic waves splashed onto the runway. Riding along those waves was an assemblage of avant garde attire à la Rick Owens — a debatably adroit designer within the fashion industry.

Pairs of models intimately strapped together in various positions strutted down the urban-styled catwalk, donned in Owens’s plain, grey textiles.  Essentially, it was people wearing people: piggy-backed, face-to-face, crotch-to-face, derrière-to-face and quite a few other postures that can’t really be explained in words. I’m fairly certain this is too impractical to ever become a trend.

Owens is not unfamiliar with breaking the mold. In fact, he is infamous for being one of the most eccentric designers in the fashion industry, consistently redefining the relationship between fashion and art. Take, for instance, his showcase for fall 2015, in which he unveiled a number of men covered in flowing fabrics with their genitalia in full view. What exactly was his motif there? It’s rather difficult to identify, even when he spells it out for us.

According to an interview with The Guardian, Owens commented, “The social rule to keep the penis hidden just gives it a power I’m not sure it merits. But isn’t it great when something is sacred and profane at the same time? I wanted to present something graceful and classical like a Degas painting of young Spartans exercising.”

And while Owens has provoked quite a bit of ire amongst critics with his works, he’s inspired positive reactions as well. This goes to emphasize time and again how art, especially fashion, is a largely subjective experience.

So, what could this new ensemble of woman-wearing women mean? Is it a meta-thematic reflection of the connection between people and their clothes? Is it social commentary on the cliché view that fashion is only for the bourgeoisie with too much time on their hands? Or perhaps Owens is trying to say the whole idea of fashion being art is simply just a façade in and of itself?

From an artistic perspective, Owens’s collection is perfectly fine. On the other hand, I probably wouldn’t believe in humanity anymore if this became an actual trend. But hey, c’est la vie.