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Paris Fashion Week: Rick Owens opts for angels, not demons

January 28, 2010 |  4:41 pm

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PARIS -- Compared to previous seasons, Rick Owens’ collection felt like a breath of fresh air in a mausoleum, a ray of white light stabbing into the darkness. Whatever yin/yang analogy you use, his traditional heavy-handed march of the mutants seemed practically uplifting. Nay, spiritual. 

Instead of monsters and demons garbed in blacker than black, Owens seemed to be sending his version of angels down the runway. Gleaming white trench coats, tailored white square-shouldered jackets that shimmered over camel-colored tunics, even the heavy clodhopper boots looked somehow lighter, the pale brown snakeskin seeming like baked meringue. 

Backstage, the designer waved off any notion of trying to read a kinder, gentler Rick Owens in the catwalk tea leaves. “Yeah, last time I had lots of monsters on the runway,” he said with a shrug. “But I was just in the mood for a nice tailored jacket. The kind I’d like to wear. So that’s what I did.”

Owens' show also served up perhaps my favorite fashion show celebrity sighting of all time. No, it wasn't Kanye West and Amber Rose (who, were indeed, sitting front row), but the bearded gentleman I found myself face to face with as I exited the backstage area: none other than actor Howard Hesseman -- who, despite a lengthy and productive TV career since, will ever be remembered to me as DJ  Dr. Johnny Fever   from the sitcom "WKRP in Cincinnati."

He and Owens are old friends, he told me, and he came to support the designer. 

As we parted ways, for the merest of moments, I let my mind wander to what Hesseman's DJ alter-ego would might look like rocking one of those serious, strong-shouldered Rick Owens jackets.

And it made me appreciate the artistry of both men that much more.

-- Adam Tschorn

Rick Owens Fall/Winter 2010 Men's Runway Photo Gallery

Coverage of Paris Fashion Week

Coverage of Milan Fashion Week

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