January 17, 2013 Paris
And, swagger being a young man's game, there was necessarily a more youthful, more accessible vibe around this collection. "Boy Chantilly," Owens called the hair, which was teased into extravagance. He compared it to ethereal dandelion puffs. The way he belted his jackets high also had a boyish quality. You could almost imagine an after-school martial arts class. Same with the abstract fichus in which Owens wrapped shoulders. They were like swaddling.
All this is hardly to suggest that Owens was infantilizing the man he has relentlessly elevated over the past few seasons. As far as he is concerned, what he is offering the world is, in his own words, "an American's idea of French sophistication and finesse and chic." The back-to-front collars today were, he said, a clear instance of a poetic flourish that Owens would consider to be French. Quite how the French might feel about such a gesture is debatable, but there was no doubt that, all swagger aside, this new collection exposed a more vulnerable side to the designer.