Oftentimes, the write-ups on the fashion shows are just a bunch of words strung together describing influences I can’t entirely see. (There’s a reason I switched away from majoring in English; I am not analytical in that way.) So it often comes down to — as does a lot of journalism, in fact — whether the designers are giving good bites, and Rick Owens definitely did that.

In his press notes, he used the words “grim gaiety.” On the phone he referred to the way French women’s hats became more extreme during World War II as a subtle way of taunting their German occupiers. “We can think of clothes as frivolous or we can think of clothes as one of our first steps towards communicating with other people, which is a powerful thing,” Owens said. “Clothes don’t change the world, but they’re part of an attitude that influences the way people think. They’re signifiers, little messages people send to each other, like those hats.”

[…] The models’ masks might’ve been the most obvious signifiers. Now that they’re a necessary accessory, every runway without them is a missed opportunity. “A mask kind of works with my clothes,” Owens said, “but it’s also a vote. It’s also promoting consideration of others. You might not believe in a mask, but it sends the right message.” 

Let’s take a look and see how much grim we have, and how much gaiety.

[Photos: Imaxtree]