Has Rick Owens Lost His Edge?

by Charles Manning

Earlier today, Rick Owens showed his fall 2018 collection, which was full of the kind of lumpy silhouettes and assorted felty swaths we’ve come to expect from the designer over the years.

Masses of fabric hung limply from the fronts of many of the tops and dresses, though to what end, its hard to say.

A Rick Owens show is always something of a Rorschach test, so interpret it as you will.

Rick Owens fall 2018 (FirstView)

Of course, there were some “more commercial” pieces mixed in here and there, including some very nice coats, but, then, that is to be expected.

Owens will probably sell a million pairs of those fuzzy sneakers most of the models were wearing and those giant fanny packs can probably be worn on a person’s shoulder as well as their hip. You know, like a regular bag. Or not. Only time (and a trip to the Rick Owens store) will tell for sure.

Of course, the sleeves on Owens’ jackets and tops were almost universally over-long, but that’s been the look for a while now on practically every runway from New York to Paris. Not being able to actually use your hands is so chic!

These high heels made a few appearances.

Rick Owens fall 2018 (FirstView)

And more than a few models wore these odd bunny ear headband hat things.

The color pallet was almost universally neutral, although there were a handful of bright blue satin accents thrown in at the end of the show for some reason. They weren’t really working for me, but then I’ve never been a fan of bright, shiny, contrast linings.

Obviously, Rick Owens has a very specific aesthetic. Its one that has earned him a lot of accolades and made him a lot of money over the years and I applaud him for that. But it often feels like there is very little to distinguish one Rick Owens collection from another, at this point. Sure, the theatrics change from season to season, and maybe it was the lack of theatrics at this show (at least from what I saw, sitting at my computer, watching the photos come in online) that made it feel especially blah to me. Or maybe Rick Owens just isn’t my thing. That’s fine. Plenty of people still love it. It’s not like this review is going to do anything to dampen his business. Nor should it. If you like this sort of thing, then great. Have at it! Me? I think it all just feels a little… done.

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