Rick Owens does not create clothing for the timid — witness the leg-mounted double cargo backpack. Spring/Summer 2019, dubbed “BABEL,” was indicative of Owens’s relentless push towards the cutting edge of fashion design, with some of the most austere creations the designer — and perhaps anyone — has ever sent down the runway.
Kicking things off with deconstruction reminiscent of Owens’s Fall/Winter 2018 presentation, torn shirts and enormous trousers were succeeded by tight tops and denim jackets, which naturally led to denim shorts — perhaps the most progressive creation Owens could have offered. Elevated with patchwork panels and a three-way carabiner, the jorts were complemented by Owens & Birkenstock‘s newest collaborative silhouette: a revised iteration of Owens’ own Geobasket design, which now sported Birkenstock-branded forefoot straps. More layering pieces followed, along with slightly more conventional Birkenstock sandals, while denim waist bags and trim blazers added more heft to raw-hemmed shorts. Eventually, a sequined, Cthulu-esque facemask emerged, with draping “tentacles” that nearly reached the knees. After a series of billowing, unbuttoned track pants, a series of stunning geometric coats and trousers underlined the designer’s dedication to craft, culminating in a gargantuan priest coat. Naturally, Owens topped himself by the end, where a series of slashed, flowing tunics and bomber jackets gave way to pole-mounted “tents,” showcased with raw strips of fabric dangling in between the spokes.