Curated by Highsnobiety and presented during the time period formerly known as Paris Men’s Fashion Week, Not In Paris 3 is our third in a series of bi-annual digital exhibitions celebrating creativity in the age of remote interactions. Head here for the full series and cop our new merch via our online store.
“It’s going to be a gluttonous summer, kids,” Rick Owens warns us during fittings for his upcoming collection.
The menswear maestro has never shied from showing swaths of male skin — be it exposed upper thighs, hips, or midriff, any muscle, skin, and bone is fair game. Only now, the rest of the world is finally catching up, as evidenced by the skorts and crop tops of this week’s showings for Paris Men’s Fashion Week. And it’s not a minute too early.
Those short hemlines suggest an air of sunny optimism, but in Owens’ hands, partial nudity can convey almost any tone he likes. At his last menswear outing, a look of white briefs under a floor-length puffer coat hinted at burgeoning male rage beneath the surface. This time, Owens lends his pieces a slight air of vulnerability; being exposed seems to be the right choice. And so we find a lighter, softer Rick Owens, embracing the indulgent times ahead for his Spring/Summer 2022 men’s collection, entitled FOGACHINE.
“I wanted a white magic, stairway to heaven, houses of the holy vibe. White satin hippies that practice their hedonism softly and thoughtfully,” the designer explains. An exclusive video previewing behind-the-scenes fittings of the collection for Highsnobiety’s Not in Paris depicts Owens draping his longtime muse, model, and collaborator Tyrone Dylan Susman in gauzy white shirts, topped with jackets ranging from a cropped bolero to a lightweight, open overcoat. Covering up is still an option; Owens himself dons a mesh but enveloping cape, and black gloves up to the shoulders.
The designer is not looking to be prescriptive, after all. The world is your oyster this season, and you should express yourself in whatever mode you like. “I think that any way you can tell your story, go with it. Live, digitally, telepathically, living it,” he says.
While surely some are readjusting to being in the flesh, tactility and hedonism are zones that Owens has mastered, as seen in his one-legged knit catsuits for Fall 2020 Menswear, or the humans-worn-as backpacks for Spring 2016 Ready-to-Wear. Here Owens lets the audience see his process, as he exposes the lines and seams that lie beneath.
“There's something delicious and special about making the first cut into an elaborate white wedding cake,” Owens says of working with such delicate materials. “Cutting into complicated layers of interlinings is just as creamy and satisfying.”
A few of the season’s pieces, like a racer-back, deep-v tank, seemingly verge on nothingness, leaving only a faint underlying structure. “My comfort level with our tailoring crew has let me really savor developing the interior structural process,” Owens says. “So much so that I wanted to expose as much of it as possible, and celebrate its delicacy and confection.”
In contrast to this season’s more diaphanous clothes, the preview’s erratic, hallucinogenic soundtrack courtesy of Taiwanese American producer Mochipet serves as a reminder that white and delicate does not need to mean purity and abstention.
As we depart into our gluttonous summers, Owens just has one parting word of advice: “Stay safe.”
The full Rick Owens Spring/Summer 2022 menswear collection will be livestreamed Thursday, June 24 at 12:30PM CET from Venice via www.rickowens.eu.