Rick Owens SS2017 Walrus Women Collection

Rick Owens SS2017 Walrus Women Collection

As always, the women’s collection shares the same name as its men’s counterpart and this season’s name is ‘Walrus’.The idea of using the name of an alien-looking creature so far removed from everyday world helps Owens  think of making clothes in the context of an eternity of  anthropological cycles and fragile ecological balances.

Owens is reminded of, and somewhat comforted by the miniscule presence in that trajectory. Fragility is what he was going for this season. Blobs of linen tulle and threadworn t-shirt jersey are haphazardly draped and swagged, twisted and wrapped around the body, gently and softly distorting it.

Cropped jackets constructed of tulle and buckrum scaffolding are a blunt  American’s crude interpretation of delicate art nouveau parisian confection. Breezy windbreakers are cut in German horshair originally produced in the 18th century to replace silk and later used for crinolines.


The weft of the fabric is woven from the strands of a horse’s tail and results in a volume that has the brittle texture of spun sugar. ‘Fog Coats’ are produced by Maison Lemarié, the legendary Parisian plumassier, from individual ostrich strands that have been hand knotted end-to-end and then mounted by the thousands on  silk gazar coats.This is a technique invented for the first revillon collection he did years ago and, from what Lemarié tells him, never done by anyone else.

Extra long glass bugle beads custom made in Murano sketch out a radiating motif on thick cotton mantles that have a slit in the back to allow them to be worn arms-free as an abstract poncho. These poncho/mantles are hand-tinted with degrade fields of yellow, mauve, black, and light gray - the prevailing colors of the collection. some have sable fur whirlpool appliques.

Shorts have extended panels in front and back to provide a hint of extravagant abandon. boots and shoes have a narrow and extended squared-off toe, like a squashed tail pipe, with some styles banded with our Murano turbo bugle beads. Growing up in 1970s southern California, halter tops, cutoffs, and hiking boots seemed the most free-spirited and logical outfit for the mountain girls i knew, which always stuck with me as the most modest and practical approach to dressing in warm weather. Believe it or not, this collection is an elaboration of that formula. Nina Simone provides the soundtrack with her modernist interpretation of a classical folk song, ‘black is the color of my true love’s hair’, and ‘wild is the wind’- songs of fragile tenderness… he listens to Nina every day.

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