• Phoebe Gardner

Rick Owens ignites Paris Fashion Week

Updated: Oct 15, 2019

The acclaimed designer sets alight his SS19 Babel show with ritualism, witchcraft and real fire.

Babel ss19 courtesy Laqerfeld

A familiar location for Rick Owens, Palais De Tokyo, was the setting for his womenswear ss19 collection Babel. The show was a pagan-inspired ceremony that celebrated the power of women and reflected the world in its current state of turmoil.

Taking place in the pavilion’s courtyard, Owen’s had the fountain drained, in its centre stood a large wooden structure that resembled Tatlin’s Tower. As the models circled the tower it was suddenly engulfed with flames.

Babel was a collection of everyday staples which Owen’s had evolved beyond recognition. He had created a futuristic and apocalyptic uniform to equip women with the uncertain outlook of our planet.

Geometric crowns, bodice armour and bracelets were some of the most notable features of Babel. Models held accessories such as torches lit with fire while wearing slashed capes, rubber panelled tunics and floor-sweeping dresses cut into caged structures.

As they encircle the lit tower it resembles a modern-day witchcraft ritual rather than a fashion show. The models look like queens in a post-apocalyptic utopia, fit to survive the harsh surroundings.

Owen’s often incorporates philosophies within his designs to reflect on the what’s going on in the world today. Babel is not an exclusion, the title references ‘The Tower of Babel’, a narrative of hope to despair and collapse – a warning disguised in clothes of the destructive path our society is on.

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