PARIS — The Rick Owens show began with a jolt of thundering techno music, which made many showgoers jump in fear. But to cut to the chase: The next gasps came about halfway through the show, when male models came down the runway fully exposed. Yes, there were about three penises visible and flopping around, surely to be blurred for the various slideshows.
Just as 2014 was the year of the butt, 2015 is shaping up to be about the bulge in fashion land, with the one-two punch of the Justin Bieber was-it-or-was-it-not-Photoshopped Calvin Klein underwear ad. (The exceptions, however, were the giant butt-plug brooches at Walter Van Beirendonck.)
Other than the penises, the Rick Owens show started very traditionally. He always draws a crowd of devotees, who proudly wear the designer’s wares to the show, like wearing the T-shirt of their favorite band to a concert.
The show started with shorts over leggings, then shorts with pulled-up-to-the-hem socks, and then shorts over leggings over pulled-up-to-the-hem socks. Black washed-leather overcoats were soon joined by a wool duffle coat that looked like it had been splattered with blood. Then a kind of religious tribal element seeped in with shiftlike robes, some dangling with fluttering materials reminiscent of wind chimes. Some of them had an arched peephole opening revealing the model’s manhood. This actually heightened the religiosity aspect. It wasn’t done in bad taste, but it was mysterious, like sending out bold fertility gods.
The penises weren’t the point of the show — it was blink-and-you-miss-it — but many editors were cursing themselves afterward for missing them because they were too busy texting. They missed a fashion first.