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Monday Muse: The Ballets Russes Inspire Rick Owens Spring 2015

Rick Owens Spring 2015

A few seasons ago, Diane von Furstenberg took inspiration from the Ballets Russe for a collection. She threw together bold prints with gold embellishment, married ballet-inspired dance silhouettes with modern fabrics and had her girls walking on a technicolor runway. Rick Owens was also inspired by the that same cultural revolution, but his collection was just a bit different from Diane’s. The Brutalist designer may have found inspiration in the same subject matter, but his collection was far from a rainbow dream.

Owens is known for spare clothing, plenty of black and loose, androgynous clothes, so when his show notes included the Ballets Russe, known for extravagance, over-the-top showmanship and clandestine culture, critics were enamored even before the first look walked. But in true Owens style, the California-born designer gave the audience a tour de force of avant garde fashion.

Rick Owens Spring 2015

The collection answered the question “What would Bauhaus concretist Marcel Breuer create for a ballet?” The answer? A tutu in grey that fell from the back of a dress.

The dress itself? Heavy and stiff. The tulle? Light as air. That hard/soft balance was what the collection played on, but the inspiration was also a way for Owens to play with color. A rare sighting indeed at an Owens presentation, there were hints of brown among grey and black, but the real surprise? Pinks and blue. Khaki and gold. There was even embellishment and embroidery.

The collection was an exploration of new ideas for Owens, but it was also a showing that was surprisingly beautiful. In lieu of darkness and gothic beauty, there was an airiness and delicacy that Owens rarely touches. It was even lyrical, especially when the clothes walked by and tulle floated from the back of severe, stiff smocks. Enjoy it while it lasts, because we’ve got a hunch that this feeling won’t last long.