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Rick Owens AW23 Menswear
Photography Cris Fragkou

Sleazy season is coming at Rick Owens

From Posh and Becks to psuedo-mysticism and Egyptian runes this is your lowdown on the designer’s AW23 show

Across the course of the last three days at Paris Fashion Week’s men’s edition we’ve seen Gabriel from Emily in Paris go (American) psycho, Saint Laurent land back on the schedule, and homegrown British talent like Grace Wales Bonner and Bianca Saunders bring a bit of London to the city of light. Thursday marks another big one for the Dazed team: it’s……. Rick Owens day! Taking place at the Dark Lord of High Fashion’s home away from home, the Palais de Tokyo, as per, here’s everything you missed at his AW23 men’s show.


Cast your mind back to the early days of 2020 and you might recall a ‘WTF?’ fashion moment that saw legendary R&B star Usher Raymond turn up to Rick’s AW20 women’s show, pose for photos with Michèle Lamy and the designer’s severed head, and take his place on the FROW to soak it all in. Soon after, the world imploded, and tbh, you’d be hard pushed to convince me that the wholly unexpected union didn’t open some sort of hell portal. Anyway, this season Usher was back, after also checking out Wales Bonner and Bianca Saunders. Maybe equilibrium will be restored once more? Watch this space.


Joining Usher on the FROW were Victoria and David Beckham. This wasn’t quite so surprising, however, since Rick and Michele posted a pic of themselves hanging out with the former Spice Girl a few months ago, prompting the question: collab when? While that’s not on the cards just yet – as far as we know – clearly they’ve struck up a friendship. Disappointingly, neither turned any Rick looks, with VB going for a Kim Kardashian-esque bodysuit of her own making, and David a plain white tee and jeans (snore). Come on Golden Balls, if you wanna make up for that whole Qatar thing you’re gonna have to at least try out some Kiss boots next season babes xxx


At Rick’s SS23 show back in September, the designer pumped the air with so much smoke it was difficult to even catch sight of the collection between the plumes. This time around, he’d moved things inside and cranked the fog machine down just a notch, with a fine layer spreading slowly out across the marble floor like morning mist on the moors. At the centre of it all was a catwalk constructed from metal scaffolding that towered three feet above the audience as they took their seats. Craning our necks up to look at the models as they stomped through the space in Rick’s signature boots, it felt like a timely comment on themes of privilege and power. “MEASURING THE INSIGNIFICANCE OF CONTEMPORARY DISCOMFORTS AGAINST THAT AMOUNT OF HISTORY COMFORTS ME,” as the designer explained in his accompanying shownotes. Which leads us on to the inspo behind the collection…


Building on his most recent women’s collection, this season’s proposal was inspired by Owens’ relationship with Egypt: a place he returns to both IRL and via films like The Ten Commandments by Cecil B Demille – “WHICH I WATCH NIGHTLY WHILE WORKING OUT WITH BRUTALISMUS 3000 PUMPING.” Beyond being an ancient marvel, Egypt is, of course, a well of inspiration for online conspiracy theorists who believe the pyramids were made by aliens and lizard people. And long before the internet started framing Addison Rae and Kylie Jenner as illuminati-devil-worshippers, there was Owens: fashion’s high priest of satanic panic who has been scratching his way into the underworld since the mid-90s. This collection, then, was a reaction against all the “VICTORIAN” moralising that takes place online.


Scored to the lament of “Brother Wolf, Sister Moon” by The Cult as thick black streaks of paint cascaded from the models’ eyes, AW23 was far more sombre, far more ascetic than we’ve seen from Owens’ recent shows. The vast majority of the offering was rendered almost entirely in black – bar the occasional plum, chocolate, and acid-washed indigo. “THIS COLLECTION IS ABOUT REDUCED ARCHITECTURAL SHAPES WITH A WHIFF OF SLEAZY SEVENTIES PSEUDO-MYSTICISM,” he said. 

Opening with house muse Tryone Dylan Susman in Kiss boots, low-slung leather pants, and an ab-baring cape, the collection kept to a peak-shouldered, nipped-waist silhouette. There were cowhide bombers, orthopaedic cast boots, distressed and soiled midi-skirts, rampart-shouldered blazers, and platform-engulfing high-waisted flares. Puffers were bound across the chest, distorting the body in amorphous accents, while moleskin jumpsuits elongated the frame to imposing heights – the effect was like sitting beneath some kind of ancient monolith. “MERGING REAL LIFE WITH FANTASY LIFE IS ONE OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS,” as Owens said.