Leading fashion designer Rick Owens made a defiant statement at Paris Fashion Week, presenting his spring collection with a powerful runway performance, not by size zero, blank-faced, statuesque models but by women with inner power, attitude and charisma.
NYmag.com reports below:
From the first models who strode out to thumping drumbeats, the Rick Owens spring 2014 presentation projected an energy not typical on a Paris runway, or any other in recent memory. Standing mostly in silhouette on high scaffolding with a pair of unadorned staircases, the models pounded their chests with a synchronized audacity, then descended the stairs and moved into the vast open performance space en masse, with scowling expressions of determination and ferocity. They twisted and rocked to the beat, throwing their heads back, their arms moving in sharp, angular gestures and their legs rising up in back kicks, side kicks, and deep forward lunges.
The group of women who are mostly African-American are part of various step dance teams – a form of percussive dance in which the participant’s entire body is used as an instrument to produce complex rhythms and sounds through a mixture of footsteps, spoken word, and hand claps. It is a combination of military-like exhibition drill and African foot dances, and draw from elements of gymnastics, break-dance, tap dance as well as Caribbean dance. Step-dancing produces a powerful performance which expresses individuality, personal power and defiance.
They modeled his spring collection, though none of them had the towering height or the reedlike physiques of the typical runway strutter. Despite athletic thighs and dancers’ legs, round middles and curvaceous torsos, they did more than justice to Owens’s free-flowing silhouettes — his bloomerlike shorts, tunics that curved around the bosom like a conch shell, leather vests, and dresses reminiscent of togas. Some women wore head wraps that hung to their shoulders like do-rags. Others had their hair flying free. They wore clunky footwear that looked like a cross between high-top sneakers and Pilgrim’s shoes. But mostly they wore a defiant attitude.
What do you think? Is this the start of the runway revolution? Would you rock these outfits?