Rick Owens's Paris runway shows always manage to shock; he continues to present fashion spectacles. There's the time he swapped out models for an all women's step-team. The time a male model (whom Owens later admittedly punched) decided to start an unwarranted protest. Last season: full frontal nudity from male models wearing his Fall 2015 collection. This season? Owens enlisted dancers and gymnasts to help show his idea of women uplifting and supporting other women—and the concept involved women actually wearing other women. There were 12 models equipped with harnesses, carrying other models—positioned in front, in back and upside down—while strutting down the runway in thick-strapped leather gladiator sandals. It was seemingly a nod to avant-garde performance artist Leigh Bowery, but in Bowery's case, the imagery was used to depict him giving birth to his wife.
Rick Owens had something else in mind. He told Dazed:
In the Spring men’s collection which shares the same name (Cyclops), that focussed vision was propulsive and aggressive. When applied to women’s, I see that focussed vision being more about nourishment, sisterhood/motherhood and regeneration; women raising women, women becoming women, and women supporting women – a world of women I know little about and can only attempt to amuse in my own small way…Straps can be about restraint but here they are all about support and cradling. Straps here become loving ribbons.
…The music for the show is Unkle’s arrangement of This Land – the theme from the movie ‘Exodus’ - a song I use here as a reflection on the timelessly female way of protecting way of protecting and nurturing a tribe, sung, live by a vocal powerhouse Eska.
But, of course, everyone is entitled to their own opinions and interpretations. And many saw the show (or images from the show) and felt entitled to post their opinions online. Here are seven things people thought the Rick Owens Spring 2016 was about:
Tahirah Hairston is a style writer from Detroit who likes Susan Miller, Rihanna's friend's Instagram accounts, ramen and ugly-but cute shoes.