This seasons Women’s Spring collection, like the Men’s Spring collection before it, is named ‘EDFU’ after the Egyptian temple on the west bank of the Nile in Egypt.
From Rick Owens: “I have been retreating to Egypt where I find great comfort in the remoteness and scale of its history. My personal concerns and global discomforts feel small in the face of that kind of timelessness. Lying down in the dirt with the valley of kings within view is a very soothing perspective. The temples started by one civilization, seized and added onto by another, completed by another and then unearthed by yet another are reassuring in their stoic permanence.
In my youth, Egypt had always been a setting of the morality stories I had learned in catholic school… and in the silent movie books in my parents basement featuring Cecil B. Demille’s biblical epics and movies starring Theda Bara, a creature dressed as an exotic ancient femme fatale who was originally born Theodosia Goodman in Cincinnati, Ohio.
These movies became my aesthetic recipe– ancient stories about faith and higher purpose mixed with a camp and lurid exoticism seen through a turn of the century black and white art nouveau filter. With a dose of self invention– Theda’s fierce and powerful and frankly artificial self that understood and acknowledged the light and darkness of real life.
Channeling Theda Bara posing for Gustave Moreau, sinuous gowns in translucent leather turn the wearer into a 700-million-year-old jellyfish, gracefully and languorously trailing sheer and serpentine trains. Full grain cowhides collected as a waste product from the food industry are tanned using only organic materials and natural glycerin that fill the pores of the leather and give it its softness and transparency. Like wearing gelatinous fruit roll UPS.
Continuing a jellyfish silhouette, bell-shaped frilled jackets stop at the waist or at the hips or explode into huge mantles constructed from 200 meters of recycled tulle made using Econyl, an Italian yarn made from recycled waste materials collected from oceans and landfills.
Pearl, oyster and ivory gowns and jackets in ripstop nylons also provide butterfly wing lightness with graph like constructions that lends subtle soothing gridding on the body in Dyneema, which is a patented fiber considered to be the strongest in the world.
Como woven silk charmeuses and chiffons are cut into gowns that twist around the hips and trail on the floor in slashes of slithering color… Gowns also come in denims that are draped and slashed in faded or lacquered finishes.
Colors are either milky non-colors or stridently bright like yellow, pink or fuchsia– jubilantly loud colors that can equal the power of black.
Shoulders are either wide and rounded on shield shaped blousons, or sharp and narrow on tees and flight jackets extending and narrowing and elongating the arms into parentheses framing the body… By exaggerating or distorting the body in such a pronounced way, the message is a vote for otherness– a departure from tasteful and perhaps narrow aesthetic conventions and maybe an encouragement to consider open mindedness in other areas outside of personal appearance as well.
I am not listing our efforts in recycling out of virtuousness, we definitely have room to improve. But I love having the idea that efforts in responsibility and kindness can help in some small way to balance out forces of aggression and war.
I Don’t see my sojourns to Egypt as escapism but as a way to remind myself to look at the big picture– and to relievedly admire what survives after countless wars.”
Highlights from the Collection
Photos courtesy of OWENSCORP