January 18, 2012 Paris
If the abstract sportiness was a new mood for Owens, so was the Steerpike silhouette that matched high-waisted, baggy-crotched pants to cropped, high-waisted jackets with narrow sleeves that seemed to stretch the arms. There was something young and street about the result, as opposed to the grand, ceremonial volumes that Owens specializes in. Of course, they were here too, in the form of the skirts that have become a signature item. The designer confessed to bemusement at the photos from Pitti Uomo of the peacocks that populate Tommy Ton's pictures, with their clashing colors and swathes of exotic stuff and sartorial details for days. "I always want one less button," Owens said. "But here I am with my black dress." And he laughed, appreciating the extremity of the notion. In the context of mountains, his skirts had a shamanic flair. Tibet, maybe. But it's another spiritual center that has really captured Owens' imagination. "My dream job? Head gardener at the Vatican," he said. "I could wear a robe all day." From his lips to the Pope's ears.