August 20 2014

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Paris Menswear: Jesus Walks At Blaak, Givenchy; Plus, Rick Owens


Twice is a coincidence, three times will be a trend. Sachiko Okada and Aaron Sharif accessorized their Blaak presentation with a crown of thorns. (The show was called Exodus, which ups the religious ante a little). Then a couple of Riccardo Tisci’s beefcakes also sported the ultimate emblem of martyrdom in the Givenchy show (above), along with a tee shirt that obtusely declared “Jesus is Lord” and footwear that looked suspiciously like patent leather Jesus sandals (for Fall, no less). His Catholicism is one of Tisci’s biggest influences. His 25 models walked to “Ave Maria.” The black-and-white palette and the precise cut of the clothes had a clerical severity. And the presentation was just about as lugubrious as the real thing.

No one would accuse Rick Owens of religiosity, unless it was some pagan, fallen-angel kind, but he actually talked about angels—prettiness too—when he made the switch from darkness to white light in his last women’s presentation. If his womenswear was silvery, he’s gone for the gold with his new men’s collection (below). An imposing topcoat was shot through with Lurex thread. I spotted a halter in what looked like old gold sequins. Materials—even alligator—were gilded, which added to the impact of clothes that were already extravagant in their scale. Owens still showed the elongated, elevated silhouettes that have made him a major fashion influence, but he was calling this collection “Gleam” to underscore its essence. Lose the “e” and you’re even closer to the core—it was “Glam.” And Owens rammed home the point with the week’s single greatest musical moment, an extraordinary extended version of the glam anthem “Through the Looking Glass,” Mott the Hoople’s ode to imploding narcissism. I saw God. If Adam Lambert were smart, he get on this track right now—and he’d better sing it in Rick’s python boots with the stacked, inverted heel.

As for that thorn trend, there’s still a day left in the Paris menswear schedule.

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Photos: Monica Feudi; Andrew Thomas