Rick Owens doesn’t just lead his own tribe of die-hard followers, he creates new tribes with each collection he designs. The overlord of minimal brutalism approached the tribal aspect on multiple levels for Autumn/Winter 2014, inviting his team and friends – the Owenscorp tribe – to model a collection, which paid more than a few nods to ancient tribalism. A hat reminiscent of a bearskin imitated the warriors of Etruscan cave paintings, while embroidery borrowed from thirties tapestry recently acquired by Owens looked like figures from cave drawings of the Stone Age. The designer had looked to Paco Rabanne, Pierre Cardin and Robert Mallet Stevens in the clever creation of what he referred to as a kind of tragic view of ‘futurism through vintage eyes’.
It materialised in a sense of space tribalism where leather trousers with knee-caps and Owens’ trademark Ramone boots didn’t look entirely inappropriate for the space ship dress code as determined by sixties TV. Perhaps more authentically futuristic, the skorts (yes, skorts) and cropped jumpsuits that ruled much of the collection actually constituted a pretty viable idea of what the human tribe might wear in the future. ‘The clothes were supposed to be kind of inappropriate for everything, which makes them appropriate for anything. They’re clothes that are not really suitable for anything specific so they’re in their own world, inviting people into that world,’ Owens said, linking the meaning of the garments to the inclusion of his team in the show. ‘It was like family vacation for all of us. A new way for us to play together.’