Rick Owens SS23 "EDFU" Saw a Master at Work

Presented at Palais du Tokyo, the collection zoned in on Owens-isms, shoulders, ball gowns, and theatricals.

Fashion
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A Rick Owens show is always a moment to stop and appreciated, and nothing less was expected for his Spring/Summer 2023 runway at Paris Fashion Week. Often exploring gory cues submerged in sexual motifs alongside kinks and gothic glamor, the Dark Lord himself never disappoints and has held his ground as one of the most anticipated designers on display season after season for over a decade. For Fall/Winter 2022, Rick Owens injected the hallowed halls of Paris’ Palais de Tokyo with eerie smog and the scent of his debut Aesop collaboration, harking back to memories of his Catholic school education channeled via asymmetrical design themes that looked as if they were struck by Dracula.

For Spring/Summer 2023, Owens is back at Palais de Tokyo, this time taking to the great outdoors to showcase his womenswear collection, “EDFU.” The drama started from the off, with Machine Gun Kelly, Erykah Badu, Cher, Michèle Lamy, Tyga and many more in attendance, each sitting in front of the Palais du Tokyo fountain that shot 50-plus feet into the air. The wind meant the glamor of a FROW was mocked, as showgoers were sprayed with said water, but perhaps that was what Owens wanted — us, part of the show’s theatrics alongside his proprietary “fogachines.”

Looks descended down the stories-tall staircase and onto a makeshift runway, outlining the fountain and subsequently also getting soaked — something that proved tricky for models wearing Owens’ gladiator-esque thigh-high boots. These were undoubtedly a star of the show, and an expected staple, appearing in new colorways from pink leather to grid iterations covered in fur.

Some of the best looks (or so we thought as better was yet to come) included Owens’ homage to the shoulder. It seems that each season the designer goes bigger and more avant-garde with his shoulder patterns, and SS23 was no exception as a lime green snakeskin biker jacket was nothing but horny, its shoulders pointing up like two prehistoric monoliths. Subtler iterations frequented many looks, including sheer rubber jackets, before outerwear began to shift into elongated satin bomber jackets cut with deep V-necks and accessorized with signature bulky nut-and-bolt-like jewelry.

Leather was a key ingredient to Rick Owens SS23; looks like the shoulder-centric elongated bomber jacket paired with a black leather train and the grilled clear heel boots, while a following and similar look elevated this with a snakeskin effect, its crinkles cutting the leather as the model walked.

From dramatic tulle ballgowns in his signature palette of red to the chaos of pop pink ensembles, everything Owens presented was a showcase of a master at work. As looks billowed in the wind, got covered in water, scraped on the floor and filtered through the fog, each design became its own artwork for that split second.

Take a look at the SS23 collection from Rick Owens above, and find more Paris Fashion Week SS23 content across Hypebeast.

For more subverted glamor, check out Ludovic de Saint Sernin’s SS23 runway show.

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