Pablo Starr is publisher of FWO and RNWY, and author of forthcoming RNWY: A Novel. Read about Pablo in The Huffington Post. (More info.)

Rick Owens Paris Fashion Week SS18

In Manifesto of Futurism, the poet cum philosopher Filippo Tommaso Marinetti proposed an artistic and social philosophy that embodied a rejection of the past, and you might even say heralded (or at least would have welcomed) 20th century industrialization and mechanization.

The aim, naturally, was progress, which is, of course, ironic, as both good and bad things have come from the assembly lines of the 20th century: more wealth, a greater middle class, but also factory farms, mass production that has led to mass disposability, and — as a result — a looming ecological crisis.

 
Rick Owens: Paris Fashion Week SS18

(Photos: Valerio Mezzanotti/Owenscorp)
 

Being that Owens is an expat American who seems to have rejected Americanism (even Owen’s website ends in “.eu,”), one shouldn’t be surprised that certain looks set out to mimic “a crude American’s brutalist interpretation of French confection.”

An indeed, with He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named in office, I think a lot of Americans are feeling a good bit of Anti-Some-Americans sentiment right about now.

Interestingly, Owens created several custom fabrics for the collection, including “twill gazar made from a silk and paper yarn; a nylon/cotton technical canvas with the sheen of a duchesse; stiff cotton sateen canvas; a chalky matte rubber and cotton canvas; shiny lacquered canvas; and metal mega-bugle beaded canvas.”

Owens created several custom fabrics

The upshot, beyond all the philosophical gloss, was a collection that looked like it belonged in Steven Meisel’s Makeover Madness. There was a certain mental hospital-bedlam to some of the looks, with attached pillows, asymmetrical socks that looked like tendon braces, and chunky utilitarian sandals.

If the draping was exquisite, the picture painted here was unmistakable: of an injured world, with people in it who have gone mad, mad, mad.

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Paris Fashion Week

With love,

FWO

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