Rick Owens explores his Mexican roots

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Robin Driver
today Jun 22, 2019
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Perched on vertiginous plexiglas platform boots, the long-haired models descended the grand marble staircase of the Palais de Tokyo's esplanade under the sun, wearing baggy pants and loose coats. Futuristic glasses and metallic tribal necklaces hung down over their bare chests or their plunging V-neck sweaters, finishing off looks which oscillated between glam rock and shaman chic. "Tecuatl" – Rick Owen's grandmother's maiden name – was the title chosen to set the tone for this deeply personal runway. 

Rick Owens - Menswear - Spring/Summer 2020 - Paris - © PixelFormula

Four drummers provided the musical accompaniment for the strangely mystical show, which took place in Paris on Thursday. This season, the Californian designer, whose mother is Mexican, decided to celebrate his origins, while also using the opportunity to make his views about Donald Trump clear. "I wanted to explore the Mexican part of me in response to the American president's obsession with a border wall," he explained in the show's press notes. 

It was also clearly a way for him to speak about his childhood in Porteville, South California. "My mother and I learned English together when she started taking me to nursery school, and my father worked in the Porterville Public Court System as a translator for the Mexican migrant farm workers that were a major part of the San Joaquin agricultural industry," he added. 

"The Aztec eagle on the United Farm Workers' flag and the struggles it represents are part of my childhood," continued Owens, who used the association's stylised eagle emblem in necklaces, t-shirts and shirts. 

Elsewhere, white Aztec-like characters were printed onto the black fabric of coats and pants. Indeed, this wardrobe was predominantly black and white, but a certain number of more flamboyant pieces did stand out, including gold coats and jackets with golden sequins, iridescent trousers and coats, as well as sun-yellow outfits reminiscent of the folky skirts worn by the couturier's mother. 

The rest of the collection was made up of simpler pieces: tight trousers, cargo pants, zipped jumpsuits, jackets, blousons and light waterproofs, as well as shorts, all made in nylon taffeta, plastic-coated fabrics, leather and cotton. Star accessories included removable leather maxi-pouches, which were attached to the waists of jackets with a simple cord. 

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