This season it was all about 'pretty' for designer Rick Owens. Not in the conventional sense, this was about Owens adding lightness, fluidity and softness to his well-established house codes. Interestingly, this mirrored the approach taken by his protégé Gareth Pugh, who showed last night. This is certainly no criticism - whilst they both appear to be on the same 'page', the new approach seemed to produce different results for the designers. Both sat in the front row at each other's shows. Owens' trademarks were omnipresent throughout the 42-piece collection - angular zips, geometric shapes (specifically triangles and diamonds), one-sleeved vests, and a variety of leather jackets, strong silhouettes and layered styling. The latter helped along by Panos Yiapanis, long-term collaborator of Owens. His 'pretty' came with lighter fabrics, and fluid shapes such as parachute backs or billowing elongated trouser legs; a series of beautifully cut dresses and liquid grey and black jumpsuits. His favored colour palette of slate grey, black, white, beige and nude was complimented by metallic highlights, in the sharp bracelets on the wrists of every model or in soft silver and gold draped dresses that seemed to float around the model's body as she walked. The Rick Owens customer will have no problem with coats this season with options including elegant hooded raincoats and a black coat with angled shoulders, cut with couture-like precision. Bottom-half solutions were a bit thin on the ground albeit for shorts and long trousers, but there will no doubt be plenty of options in the showroom. Most puzzling were the long strips of fabrics that featured in numerous looks that seemed to have no purpose whatsoever, an unnecessary distraction. That low-point aside, this was a strong collection - plenty of standout garments for editorial and once you've picked apart the multi-layered looks, lots of appealing, easy-to-wear separates.
Interestingly, this mirrored the approach taken by his protégé Gareth Pugh, who showed last night.