From Rick Owens: “Gethsemane was the garden Jesus prayed in the night before the crucifixion; a place of uneasy repose and disquiet before a final reckoning. We’ve all been living a tense period in history waiting for a resolution, be it catastrophic or rational, in a suspense that feels almost biblical in its drama.
My garden is the beach in front of my home on Venice’s Lido. My pandemic runway shows have all been on the Lido — a 2-hour drive from my factory in concordia and a smaller footprint, pared-down, no audience, home-based mood that feels suitable for the moment. this reduction in imported hair and makeup and production armies has allowed these shows to turn into private ceremonies shared by our small concordia team from conception to climax, allowing us to connect in a whole new way after 15 years of Paris shows.
Skin-tight leather bodysuits underpin most looks, some with the top pulled down to hang off the hips. Some are solidly sequined. I’ve been featuring bodysuits for some seasons now, originally as monumentally imposing stiff volumes but gradually reducing to their current incarnation — self-contained and sealed body coverings like an upholstered gear shift knob.
These are topped by power shoulder capes that turn the body into architectural bulldozers, or power shoulder bombers mocking male aggression and conservatism careening off the rails that was the focus of my men’s show in January — coinciding with the shocking events in Washington.
These shoulders are a response to fear and anxiety; defiance in the face of threat. I have shown masks with these pandemic shows not because my masks are guaranteed protection, but because they are a vote for responsibility and consideration and an acknowledgement of our immediate collective experience.
Tailored jkts made from recycled plastic waste are cropped with the sleeves ripped off and replaced with jumbo duvet snap-on sleeves.
In the Bible, the rending of ones garments is an act of grief or rage — to violently tear the clothes one is wearing apart. This is the significance of the slashed black denim pieces in the collection, mirrored in the slashed graphics rendered in by- product shearlings and cowhides patchworked into coats and jackets.
Narrow backless long-sleeved sheath gowns are cut in heavy viscose knit, sequins, or black overdyed denim. like the bodysuits, their tops are often pulled down to hang off the hips and worn with a t-shirt. Ruched and sequined thongs are worn over recycled cashmere bodysuits to add a lurid flourish to matter-of-fact and practical modesty. These recycled cashmere yarns are also knit into heavy sweaters, pulled up to double on the torso, and roomy blanket-sized hooded robes. biblical. These hooded robes are repeated in tent-sized duvet or sequin encrusted denim.
The penta-briefs from the last men’s show that spoke of unhinged male aggression are wrapped around simple cowhide envelopes to be worn as a woman’s evening clutch. Heavy work shirts worn over gowns come in 16oz black warp/black weft/black selvedge denim custom woven for us by Vamaashi Orimono (est. 1945) on vintage Sakamoto shuttle looms. This is from an ongoing DRKSHDW capsule made in Japan.
Soundtrack is an exclusive extended remix of ‘Squeeze’ by Ghostemane, who also soundtracked our last men’s show that spoke about male suppressed rage on every side of the moral divide… but of course, suppressed rage is not exclusively male.”
Highlights from the Collection
Photos courtesy: OWENSCORP