Rick Owens sets runway on fire at Paris Fashion Week show
Rick Owens sets the runway on fire at Spring Summer 2019 show

Rick Owens sets runway on fire at Paris Fashion Week show

A flaming pyre took centre stage at Rick Owens' Spring Summer 2019 womenswear show at the Palais de Tokyo, during Paris Fashion Week.

The designer presented his collection in a drained water fountain filled with a metal pyramid, which the models circled as they made laps of the runway. During the show the structure was suddenly engulfed in flames.

Called Babel, the show took place on 27 September in the courtyard of the Palais De Tokyo, an art deco building and cultural institution in the centre of Paris.

The American designer, who founded his fashion label in 1994, drew on influences from two hypothetical buildings: the Tower of Babel and the Russian architect Vladimir Tatlin's 1919 model of a constructivist tower.

Rick Owens sets the runway on fire at Spring Summer 2019 show

Both references informed the set for the show, in particular the burning pyre. According to Owens' show notes, they are all symbols of "hope, dread, serenity, nihilism".

Recurring elements of destruction and demolition, including blackened American flags and twisted denim shorts, also peppered the collection.

Owens suggested that the collection was designed for a coven of witches who cast "hexes and spells [while] looking for order and reason".

Models walked out in cage-like dresses that encased their bodies and robes punctuated in "shredded brutalist lace", intended to evoke the garments traditionally worn by pagans or high priestesses.

Rick Owens sets the runway on fire at Spring Summer 2019 show

These were paired with geometric headpieces and bulky hiking boots, which were designed in collaboration with shoe brand Birkenstock.

Models were also dressed in panelled tunics with rubber fringing and parkas made from lacquered denim and coloured rubber.

Typically for Owens, the garments have a muted colour palette of black, grey, olive green, pale red and off-white.

 

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Rick Owens - on fire

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Owens launched his label in 1994, and showed his first catwalk collection in 2002. Aside from a recent long-standing collaboration with Adidas, the fashion designer has also collaborated with Birkenstock on a second collection, the first of which featured sandals made from calf-hair.

He has also created furniture pieces, some of which were exhibited at Sebastian+Barquet gallery in London in 2009.

Photography is by Indigital and Owenscorp

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Rick Owens sets the runway on fire at Spring Summer 2019 show
Rick Owens sets the runway on fire at Spring Summer 2019 show
Rick Owens sets the runway on fire at Spring Summer 2019 show
Rick Owens sets the runway on fire at Spring Summer 2019 show
Rick Owens sets the runway on fire at Spring Summer 2019 show
Rick Owens sets the runway on fire at Spring Summer 2019 show
Rick Owens sets the runway on fire at Spring Summer 2019 show