Designer Rick Owens took racial and body diversity to another level on Thursday in Paris when he presented his Ready-To-Wear looks for SS2014. The adidas collaborator recruited US black women of various figures and hues who were also university step team rivals. Owen’s move sent a signal to the fashion world about inclusion as well as diversity but some folks have argued that the artist appropriated black culture. Those observations are, of course, debatable, but the collection looked incredible.
Charcoal, black and pea green were colors used to tell a narrative about movement, determination and teamwork. The collection reminded one of sci-films like The Handmaid’s Tale and even referenced The Inquisition. Fabrics were laser sharp in their cuts, presenting graphic silhouettes that moved freely with each step or stomp. It was a great presentation set to a wonderful soundtrack that sounded futuristic if not contemporary.
Here’s what Owens had to say about his presentation after the show.
I was thinking about teams and thinking about the inner competition we all have and how bonding together can kind of create something a little bit sinister at times. What I’m doing is I’m presenting something, something good-spirited and energizing, but when you think of teamwork, there’s always a little bit of a dark side.
This was also an exercise in working with a lot of body types to really think in broader terms. How do I make it as accessible to everybody instead of making it an exclusive fashion world, make it as inclusive as I possibly can?
Video of the presentation below.