Punk rocks: Rick Owens embraces the apocalypse – in sportswear

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Designer hoists Eastern European punk band to the rafters for Paris fashion show

Paris

This year’s Paris menswear collections have, traditionally, been low-key, subdued brothers to their flashy, Kleig-lit, multi-million pound womenswear counterpart. But today, with Kim Jones erecting a Damier-checked Amish barn at Louis Vuitton, and Rick Owens hoisting an Eastern European punk band to the rafters for their respective spring/summer 2014 shows, you felt you were getting just that. A show. We also saw some quite spectacular fashions.

The barn backdrop gave a hint of what menswear designer Kim Jones was up to at Louis Vuitton – having been inspired by the yacht of former Vuitton CEO Yves Carcelle this time last year, for spring 2014 he looked to the house’s artistic director Marc Jacobs, namely his American roots. It really was as simple as that: Jacobs’ nationality was the catalyst for a thematic trek across the US, from preppy east-coast checked blazers to polished Californian evening suits, via Texan bandannas and Grand Canyon-ready khaki cagoules, with a hint of grunge, Jones spinning off luxury takes on everyday items in the same way Marc controversially did for Perry Ellis back in 1992.

But Perry Ellis didn’t have the resources of Louis Vuitton, nor Jones’ taste for hyper-luxurious trompe l’oeil. Example: his “plain white plimsoles” mixed lizard and python, tipped with silver hobnails; wind-cheater jackets were double-faced silk; cotton-canvas parkas came with hand-embroidered “tuffetage” badges and crocodile patches at the elbow. But it was only when the models sauntered up close that you realised the dandelion-clock and lily-of-the-valley boutonnières on the prom-king tuxedos were feather flowers hand-crafted by couture feather house Lemarié. In Jones’ tactile, intricate, subtle clothes, craftsmanship whispered rather than screamed. All the luxury was on the inside, in the feel. Vuitton was about the luxury of living, rather than the way you look.

It felt a world away from Rick Owens – another American showing in Paris. But Owens’ work is always apocalyptic rather than Americana. Even when he shows sportswear – as he did today, every monochrome outfit twinned with shorts abbreviated at the upper thigh and enormous foam-soled sneakers – there’s a sense of menace. Winny Puhh, a punk band who tried to enter Eurovision for Estonia, provided live backing. In fact, they were centre-stage, Owens’ model-army marching around them two by two as the band were hoisted to the rafters or spun upside-down. You had to see it to believe it. The clothes weren’t secondary to the spectacle, but they could never distract your attention. Rather, the whole thing felt part of one glorious sensory experience – a bit like going to a thrash metal concert, with a terribly well-dressed crowd.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
News
Richard Norris in GQ
mediaGQ features photo shoot with man who underwent full face transplant
News
Gardai wait for the naked man, who had gone for a skinny dip in Belfast Lough
newsTwo skinny dippers threatened with inclusion on sex offenders’ register as naturists criminalised
News
Your picture is everything in the shallow world of online dating
i100
News
The Swiss Re tower or 'Gherkin' was at one time the UK’s most expensive office when German bank IVG and private equity firm Evans Randall bought it
news
Life and Style
Attractive women on the Internet: not a myth
techOkCupid boasts about Facebook-style experiments on users
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

    Embedded Linux Engineer

    £40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...

    Senior Hardware Design Engineer - Broadcast

    £50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...

    Reconciliation Analyst

    £200 - £250 per day: Orgtel: Reconciliation Analyst Gloucestershire

    Soutions Architect TOGAF - Reading

    £60000 - £80000 per annum + Excellent Corporate Benefits: Progressive Recruitm...

    Day In a Page

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

    The air strikes were tragically real

    The children were playing in the street with toy guns
    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

    Britain as others see us

    Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

    Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

    Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
    How did our legends really begin?

    How did our legends really begin?

    Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
    Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Lambrusco is back on the menu

    Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
    A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

    A new Russian revolution

    Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
    Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

    The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
    Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

    Standing my ground

    If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

    Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
    Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

    Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

    The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
    The man who dared to go on holiday

    The man who dared to go on holiday

    New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell
    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business, from Sarah Millican to Marcus Brigstocke

    Best comedians: How the professionals go about their funny business

    For all those wanting to know how stand-ups keep standing, here are some of the best moments
    The Guest List 2014: Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks

    The Guest List 2014

    Forget the Man Booker longlist, Literary Editor Katy Guest offers her alternative picks
    Jokes on Hollywood: 'With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on'

    Jokes on Hollywood

    With comedy film audiences shrinking, it’s time to move on