Heroes and Villains Battle In Darkness at Rick Owens FW24

The designer recalls his troubling childhood by bringing Edgar Rice Burroughs’s valiant characters to life.

Fashion
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Last season, Californian designer Rick Owens opened the gates to his Parisian home for the first time. He welcomed a limited selection of 300 guests across three menswear runways, seeing press, buyers, and friends kick back in his concrete-fused living room. Rick Owens maintains the same approach for Fall/Winter 2024, dedicating the womenswear line to his humble beginnings in Southern Sierra Nevada.

While built on mutual grounds, the collection — again titled “PORTERVILLE” — marks the second celebration of Rick Owens’ quarter-century career, yet introduces a somber undertone of family troubles. The lord of darkness (literally) expands his dark and sinister universe with inflated silhouettes that lightly complement the female form. In contrast to his menswear range, Rick Owens highlights the body’s natural curves with a wide selection of ribbed knitwear, bundling his soldiers in knotted accessories that double as protective shields.

Owens recalls his childhood “growing up in a judgmental environment,” as the show notes read. “In past interviews, I have mentioned my stern father not allowing a TV in the house, but I underplayed the significance of what he replaced it with — opera,” he describes. “Stories of aching, longing, and disappointment, set to rapturous music reaching for transcendency by Puccini, Wagner, Purcell, Strauss…and every evening he would softly read Edgar Rice Burroughs paperbacks to me.”

Owens brings the penned characters to life through otherworldly interpretations of heroes and villains. “This was the world I longed to leave Porterville for,” he sadly concludes. The intergalactic collection is courageous in nature, envisioning the champions of tomorrow with strong-shouldered tops, hooded capes, and swollen footwear that made a splash last season. Flared skirts are paired with fuzzy cloaks to guard yourself against incoming monsters, while his signature cropped bombers form into waist-cinching spheres of defence. Collarless blazers and floor-length hoodies sweep the floor with bravery, completing the range with five wired looks that prove his sculptural expertise.

Take a closer look at Rick Owens’ FW24 collection in the gallery above, and stay tuned for more Paris Fashion Week content on Hypebeast.

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