Rick Owens' oeuvre is frequently shaped by the American designer's desire for newness, a thirst for the unexplored quenched by mutations of recognizable shapes. Take his Birkenstock collaborations , for instance, which retain the core of the sandal brand's ethos while warping their silhouettes with wild fabrication and subtly luxurious touches. It's appropriate that Owens' latest foray into eco-conscious design would again align him with a like-minded creative, drawing from and deconstructing his old-season archive.
Swampgod, born Arturo Boem in 1993, is a Venetian upcycler who takes a hands-on approach to his craft. Fabric panels are cut from thrifted fare and Frankensteined to inverted jackets and disassembled shorts to create new shapes and embedded graphics throughout Swampgod's output, a rich assortment that enticed Owens to pursue a collaboration with Boem, who also appears in the thematic lookbook.
The resulting lineup, available exclusively at MODES Milano, sees unisex Owens classics infused with clashing textiles in odd shapes. These offset interruptions are a suitable spiritual successor to Owens' own bleach-splashed designs, dubbed "vomit" by fans due to their random, dribbling appearance. Here, each unique Swampgod item, be it bomber jacket, sleeveless shirt, shorts, or even sneakers, features those aggressively off-kilter panels alongside dangling threads and external patches that reiterate the collaborative theme.
"I am loving the current conversation in the fashion industry about thinking more responsibly about production and waste," said Owens in a statement. "In this positive mood I have asked Swampgod to alter some of our past deadstock in the same scotch tape spirit I started my collections 20 years ago.
"He ripped our old stock garments apart and reconfigured them into new pieces that end up deconstructing my deconstruction. I found him on Instagram (of course) and realizing he lived down the island from me on the Lido in Venezia, thought it was a sign and invited him to corrupt and collage at our factory [100 miles] away, making it a neighborhood project. Doesn’t hurt that he is the perfect model for his own creations..."
All of the pieces from Swampgod's Rick Owens line are available only on MODES' website and its Milan flagship store, where they're displayed atop reassembled mannequins.