Rick Owens’ FW23 Collection “LUXOR” Proves He’s the Dark Master of Paris Fashion Week
Keeping in line with this season’s theme of reduction, Rick Owens debuts his Fall/Winter 2023 menswear collection “LUXOR” with “REDUCED ARCHITECTURAL SHAPES WITH A WHIFF OF SLEAZY SEVENTIES PSEUDO-MYSTICISM” at the forefront of it all.
Owensisms were rife: a fog-filled room, metal benches, an elevated brutalist runway, opening with Tyrone Dylan Susman, the likes of Michèle Lamy, Usher, David Beckham, and J Balvin all in attendance. “LUXOR,” then, was set to be quite a moment for the lauded designer, yet again.
Shoulders were sharp, waists were nipped, chests were bare, and it was all a spectacle of Owens’ dark mastery. For FW23, the little details mattered more than ever, with gloves made from glossy and shaved hair on calfskin leather that are made — by hand — in a 25-step process in a traditional Italian factory. Likewise, the use of soft and waxy pirarucu fish skins, which are tanned in Brazil and finished in Italy, are responsibly sourced and benefit indigenous communities in Brazil, were meticulously selected for quality before being turned into an intricate, puffy, pleated cape that draped from the model’s neck, sitting atop an A-line skirt and a new iteration of heeled boots.
No stone was left unturned here. Only the finest cowhides were turned into various shaggy jackets, most of which sported designer signatures like buckles and webbing on the rear, pointed shoulders, and elongations. Even when Owens destroys something, like the barely-there thread jeans, it’s still 18-ounce Japanese Selvidge denim being used.
This quality is something you can tell from the pictures, but is enhanced in the real world of Owens’ shows. As models stomped along the metal grid runway, we found his Kiss Boot get a re-do in knee and thigh-high shapes, what appeared to be chunkier soles, and the application of the transparent heel added to a new boot.
These new boots were orthopedic, with straps working their way across and up the foot. The leather shafts were thick and cushioned, and off-set the harsh shapes and structures that infiltrated much of the designs this season. Perhaps it was a commentary on life today — as the designer put it,
THERE IS A BITTERNESS TO CREATING A COLLECTION DURING A WAR — A DESIRE TO CONTRIBUTE OUR SOMBRE BEST IN AN INDUSTRY THAT MUST REMAIN STALWART, BUT WITH A SENSE OF FRUSTRATION THAT NOTHING IS ENOUGH.”
Aside from this, we found odes to Owens’ past creations. For example, the bulbous and avant-garde shapes his wife and muse Michelè Lamy is known for wearing came to the FW23 runway in leather balls and curvaceous shapes, warping and wrapping around the body. The same was explored in nylon, while coats we usually find Owens himself wearing were exaggerated beyond anything before. Now arriving in suedes and shearling, the coats expanded from the shoulders and, at the rear, were almost one meter wide.
From crystal and metal cuff bangles to sunglasses, footwear, and all of the above, Owens once again proved he is the unmissable name on the PFW calendar. Take a look at the collection above.
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