October 01, 2005 Paris
The designer has developed a large cult following and a healthy retail business on the slimming power of his jackets, and his spring collection delivers plenty of them. Some were shown in his signature washed leather. A few had slashes in the back and were tied at the side, and still others displayed precision tailoring, elaborately pieced together from leather, silk, and pleated net and worn over another Owens' staple: the drapey tee.
Trousers cut in too-sheer georgette exposed inner workings like seams, pocket linings, and zipper plackets. Full chiffon pants were pleated in a zigzag manner that created bulk and drew attention to the backside, hips, and thighs, areas that even his sylphlike fans would often rather downplay. And a few hobble skirts proved too restrictive for even the most nimble of his models. But those missteps couldn't distract from his masterful jackets and vests with lapels of buttercup patent leather, lizard, and shagreen that blossomed like flowers. When Owens stepped out of character, as he did with a sleeveless, long wrap dress made from eyelet (in gray, but still), he really dazzled.