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Lord of darkness. This nickname has followed Rick Owens for years, a reference to the dark-colored uniform he wears and the fashion collections he presents. However, after his Spring/Summer 2025 collection, it could not feel like more of an outdated nickname.

This season, the brand was back showing at Palais de Tokyo, a location Owens often presents at in Paris, covering its grand staircase with clouds of smoke. 

After inviting guests to an intimate show in his home last year, Owens says in the show notes for this collection: "I FELT BAD ABOUT MAKING ATTENDANCE SO RESTRICTED SO THIS TIME AROUND I WANTED TO WELCOME EVERYONE. I ASKED ALL THE FASHION SCHOOLS IN PARIS TO SEND US STUDENTS AND FACULTY, MEN OR WOMEN, WHO WOULD LIKE TO WALK IN THIS WHITE SATIN ARMY OF LOVE.” (Those are Owen’s capital letters, not mine — the designer insists on communicating in upper case.)

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The models — or the white satin army of love, as Owens calls them — walked down the stairs of Palais de Tokyo in groups, soundtracked by Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7, each wearing (mostly) white from head to toe. Some, even had their faces painted white. 

“EXPRESSING OUR INDIVIDUALITY IS GREAT BUT SOMETIMES EXPRESSING OUR UNITY AND RELIANCE ON EACH OTHER IS A GOOD THING TO REMEMBER TOO... ESPECIALLY IN THE FACE OF THE PEAK INTOLERANCE WE ARE EXPERIENCING IN THE WORLD RIGHT NOW…” says Owens in the show notes, providing some explanation for the sudden switch in color. 

Much of the clothing was long and flowy, often paired together with tight-fitting hoods or large gold semi-circle-shaped headdresses. With these looks, in particular, I often got the feeling I was looking at some kind of ancient dress. 

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Elsewhere, the typical Rick Owens trademarks were on show: exaggerated sharp shoulders, sculptural silhouettes, and big boots (the huge, inflated boots from last season even made a return, however, this time they were deflated). 

Owens was sure to highlight the ethical choices made in creating everything from this new collection: denim is treated in an Italian wash house that uses less water, fabrics are vegetable-tanned, and the organic silk is GOTS certified. All commendable steps to bring down the environmental footprint of the collection. 

This year marks 30 years since Rick Owens founded his eponymous brand and the designer does appear to have taken some time to reflect. Last season, his show was titled Porterville after the small town he grew up in and this season is titled Hollywood, the place he later moved to and found his people. 

So, we've been to Porterville, and now we've been to Hollywood. Where are you taking us next, Rick?

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