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Suzy Menkes

Vogue International Editor Suzy Menkes is the best-known fashion journalist in the world. After 25 years commenting on fashion for the International Herald Tribune (rebranded recently as The International New York Times), Suzy Menkes now writes exclusively for Vogue online, covering fashion worldwide.

#SuzyPFW Rick Owens: Immersed In Colour

As light as fluff and bright in hue, the designer left behind the cult of black

2 Октября 2016

The same underground stone dungeon and the same forward march of the models - but there was one over-arching difference about the Rick Owens show: colour.

The emperor of black - in all its shades and textures - embraced an eerie new palette of dusty purple, egg yolk yellow, russet and rain-washed sky blue, all presented in a fluff of fabric. It made for a real change for the designer after 21 years.

"I do love colours – almost harsh – I’m thinking Saint Laurent and Lacroix and the way they use colours," said the designer backstage.

"I’ve always been intimidated by it. But I’ve got a bit more comfortable with myself, so I thought I would give it a try and I really liked it. It’s a lot of fun. And now that you have got me started - and if I get enough positive reinforcement - I’ll just go berserk!"

But it wasn't just the colours that had changed direction. This was a Rick Owens collection literally featherlight with ostrich plumes producing a froth floating around the body, until the silhouette settled below into a narrow silhouette. The designer said that while he usually gravitated to the solid, this time things were "almost floating".

"They were just barely stitched on," he explained. "I’m usually too practical to do anything that frothy – but I kind of allowed myself this time." 

The result was exactly as the designer described it, "harsh and a little bit disturbing". Although Nina Simone's voice was singing serenely, this was still a Rick Owens cult gathering - it was just that its members were no longer stomping along in hefty boots. Even the footwear seemed soft and squishy.

Overall, it was an extraordinary example of a designer changing gears but continuing on the route of his fashion path. As Rick said himself, it is a tough task to see how these hand-worked creations from Parisian couture feather supplier Lemarié will fit into the stores. But the lightness of touch, imagination and daring made for an unforgettable show.

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