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Sunday, September 29, 2013

Mini Magazine

-Event Today-Rick Owens SPRING 2014 READY-TO-WEAR

By Tim Blanks
Rick Owens thinks of himself as the classic American in Paris, mesmerized by the culture that surrounds him. So he wanted to give something back with his new collection, something from his world. But there was no way that Parisians—or anyone anywhere, for that matter—could be prepared for what Rick gave today.

For inspiration, he looked to stepping, the hybrid of step dancing, cheerleading, and military drill that is as competitive as cheerleading in African-American colleges. For the past five months, Owens and his people worked with stepping teams from four sororities—Washington Divas, Soul Steppers, Momentum, and Zetas—to produce a performance that was as spectacularly synchronized and spotlighted as a Busby Berkeley celluloid set piece from the golden age of Hollywood.

Forty dancers—features set in a scowl steppers call "grit face," intended to intimidate the competition—pounded the catwalk in outfits that transfigured Owens' signature wrapped, draped tropes. These women needed to move. The clothes were adjusted accordingly, hiked, laced, slit, zipped to allow maximum motion. It was a revelation to see Owens' clothes so transformed: immediate electricity rather than the monumental serenity that has pervaded his womenswear of late. If he's always wanted to create clothes that were, as he said, "a cross of elegance and roughness," this was the time and place he made that happen. In his hands, the notion of extreme sportswear became something as gorgeously unlikely as the NBA in Vionnet. And that was some kind of vision.

More than that, it was bliss to experience Rick's joyous assault on fashion orthodoxy. "We're rejecting conventional beauty, creating our own beauty," he said. He's acutely aware of the accusations of cultishness that are leveled against his clothes, but all those body types today added up to as inclusive a catwalk vision of womanhood as we're ever likely to see. Such a gentle notion, and yet it struck home with a sledgehammer force. Sure, the breathtaking presentation counted for a lot, but it got its overwhelmingly timely weight from the culture of denial and exclusion that is currently eroding American politics. (resource:Style.Com)

Opinion Story

The huge feat of rotating the cruise ship, in Italian waters since January 2012, has been completed.
Patrick Chappatte is an editorial cartoonist for the International Herald Tribune. View more of his work, visit his Web site or follow him on Twitter. (resource:

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