Ready to Wear: A Rick Owens leather jacket remains the most desirable by far

What must the designer Rick Owens make of the myriad interpretations of his signature technologically pioneering and imaginative take on the leather jacket?

While it might only be expected that the high street would pick up on this brilliantly versatile garment and rethink it at budget prices, what is perhaps more surprising is that other designers now appear to be doing so too. A high street rendition of a Rick Owens jacket is a fraction of the cost of the real thing, after all – no more than around £100 as opposed to an eye-wateringly expensive £1,500 – but a quick glance at net-a-porter.com reveals not only the Owens originals but more that take elements of his handwriting and run with them. All of these, it almost goes without saying, are aimed at just the customer that Owens himself hopes to attract. And so, Phillip Lim's leather jacket is lined in rabbit. Alexander Wang's is sleeveless. Donna Karan's is belted and trimmed with wool. The list goes on.

Giving names such as these the benefit of the doubt one might conceivably argue that a leather jacket is a leather jacket and that Owens has no claim on this classic garment that, to name just one famous example, Yves Saint Laurent himself turned to for inspiration in his time. The point of Owens' treatment of an admittedly time-honoured theme is his ability to feminise it quite so beautifully, however. His jackets have the skinniest of sleeves – he achieves this by inserting a panel of rib-knit on the inside of the arms. They are often draped at the front then waisted at the back – both quintessentially womanly flourishes. They are almost invariably shrunken, fitting their wearer like a second skin. Then there's the fact that they tend to zip on the bias, are crafted in very fine and intentionally worn leather and have raw edges. Suffice it to say that one or more of these details are all present and correct in each of the aforementioned designers' pieces.

Fashion trainspotters will doubtless be quick to point out that Ann Demeulemeester has also flirted with such notions in her time: ageing, draping, asymmetry and more have all been featured in her leather jackets by now.

The good news today (for Mr Owens at least) is that his leather jackets remain the most desirable, both aesthetically and in terms of production values. This is a designer who appears to have wrapped up the market in hugely luxurious clothing that looks more relaxed and lived-in than a vintage heirloom. Why invest in a similarly-priced and debatably derivative leather jacket when his designs are quite so marvellous?

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Account Manager

    £20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...

    Recruitment Genius: Data Analyst - Online Marketing

    £24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...

    Austen Lloyd: Senior Residential Conveyancer

    Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...

    Austen Lloyd: Residential / Commercial Property Solicitor

    Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...

    Day In a Page

    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there