If you are even vaguely aware of Rick Owen’s phenomenon – because, yes, he is a phenomenon in his own right – then you won’t be surprised for the drama of the latest Spring 2021 collection of his eponymous brand. The title is Phlegethon and it refers to one of the five rivers that, according to Greek mythology, flow in Underworld. We have of this river the picture Dante Alighieri painted for us: a torrent of blood where damned souls are left to boil. Even if we had some apocalyptic images in the last months, nothing compared this one when it comes to pictoriality.
Despite the premises, the collection is more lively than usual. There is some red and pink lighting up the more commons black and silver/grey tones, which display the rock and alternative soul of the designer. Together with the usual fabrics, like fishnet, jersey and leather, there are also a few pieces in sequin: they fit well in the whole and are a nice touch. Apart from that we have some very short shorts, long and tight sweaters, knitted caps and the usual attention for shoulders. The other unmissable element are the platform shoes, this time with metal grey soles on over-the-knee high boots.
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Owens’ shows always are a sort of galactic journey, with models looking like a mix between artificial intelligence driven robots and futuristic travelers like in Star Wars. Face masks and sunglasses are, in this occasion, the elements that speed up the transformation, such as useful tools when exploring other planets. And, with the many changes we are going through right now, we might end up in such sort of landscape, river of blood a part.
Cover image courtesy: Rick Owens