Ancient Beauty

Rick Owens shows a softer side to his world of towering, horned goddesses
By Bailey Slater | Fashion | 2 October 2022

A fascination with the wonders of the natural world underscores Rick Owens’ latest endeavour. Similar to his SS23 men’s collection, Edfu, this tribute to ancient relics manifested as floating, ethereal oddities, oversized bomber jackets made from the shiniest of ocean-bed pearls and feathered gladiator heels built with his industrial kiss boot platforms. 

Translucent leather was pseudo-clerical at the collection’s start, faded with a dusky tinge, forming effortless gowns that wrapped at the waist, structuring tailored poncho coats and puffing up cocoon-like pleated mini-dresses. The designers’ horny shoulders returned and sharper than ever too, most noticeably in cropped jackets of yellow snakeskin and garish pink minidresses, long-sleeved and ruffle rich. Proportions came skewed and lengthened throughout, billowing capes and trains conjuring a necessary drama as models sauntered through the scene.

Owens’ theatric of choice was a huge fountain, whose spouting waters seemed to tower over the opulent setting three times over, a teaser of the aquatic exuberance set to come. But first, metallic evening gowns, curled and ruffled in big swathes of fabric. It’s only then that his floating jellyfish gowns then came into focus, reams of tulle jutting out to the side like wild, waving tentacles. Even the show’s darker creations, like stone-hued dresses sliced with raw hems, or glittering black capes covered in sequins, retained a soft and majestic energy. This was Owens beckoning us into the mysteries of his world, not shunning us away from them.

GALLERYCatwalk images from Rick Owens WOMENS-SPRING-SUMMER-23