Curated by Highsnobiety and presented during the time period formerly known as Paris Men’s Fashion Week, “Not In Paris 2” is our second 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.
Rick Owens debuted a new collaboration with Converse today during his Fall 2021 show in Venice. The DRKSHDW project finds Owens reimagining the iconic Chuck 70 in a manner that is true to his distinctive design aesthetic, as seen above in exclusive BTS filmed especially for "Not in Paris."
Owens has long shown an appreciation for Converse's black and white footwear, having previously designed his own interpretation of the Chuck Taylor All Star, known as the DRKSHDW SS14 RAMONES.
"When I think of Converse, I think of the black and white Chuck Taylors and the punk rock generation. These have always been iconic pillars of my aesthetic," the designer said. "Wearing Chuck Taylors, you align yourself with a generation that was experimental. There is a confident dynamic to the subculture."
With the TURBODRK Chuck 70, as the collaborative shoe is called, Owens has contorted the shape of the classic Converse silhouette by extending the tongue and squaring the toe similar to a pair of boots.
"When I see something ubiquitous, I feel like I want to distort it," Owens admitted. "I don't know what that's about. Maybe it's some kind of adolescent rage. But that's one of the greatest appeals of the Chuck Taylor All Star."
The triple toe-capped Chuck Taylor arrives as part of the wider Fall/ Winter 2021 collection. Titled “GETHSEMANE,” the name is a New Testament reference to the garden where Jesus prayed before his crucifixion, or as Owens calls it, "A PLACE OF UNEASY REPOSE AND DISQUIET BEFORE A FINAL RECKONING."
The first look – white briefs, floor length coat, and hairy legs from the thigh-high cowhide boots – was a good approximation of the FW21 mood: the suppressed rage of contemporary masculinity at its most primitive and provocative. For a bit more biblical flair, don't miss the pentagram stitching on the fly. Although commonly seen as a satanic symbol, the five-pointed star is also an allusion to the five wounds of Jesus that he endured from being on the cross, taking us back to the collection’s namesake, the garden of Gethsemane.
Elsewhere, things were less raw with Owens appearing sensitive to the plight of what he calls the “MALE SUPPRESSED RAGE ON EVERY SIDE OF THE MORAL DIVIDE.” Owens counters the exposing nature of tighty-whities with some protective shearling and leather jackets made with integrated gloves on the sleeve and zip-up face coverings on the hood.
Some new colors were added to the Rick Owens palette with khaki and mauve sweaters rendered with sleeves and neck openings as interchangeable. The heavy recycled cashmere knits clung and wrapped around the body like a toga with vestigial sleeves trailing down to the floor.
For this season’s denim, Owens returned to turned to Yamaashi Orimono from his DRKSHADOW capsule, who weaves 16oz black selvedge denim on vintage Sakamoto shuttle looms in Japan for a heavy oversized jean.
The soundtrack – always a delight at Rick Owens shows – was an extended remix of “Hellrap” by rap/metal artist Ghostemane, complemented with clouds of ominous fog emerging in front of the historic Tempio Votivo memorial.
For their ongoing partnership, Owens will continue to reconfigure signature Converse sneakers throughout 2021. You can find out more by visiting go.converse.com/DRKSHDW.