“We’re rejecting conventional beauty, creating our own beauty,” said Rick Owens after he made a real show yesterday : collection spring/summer 2014 showed a 40 stepping ( the hybrid of step dancing, cheerleading, and military drill that is as competitive as cheerleading in African-American colleges) dancers from four American teams. They say that the designer found them on a page on YouTube.
“Step teams are an American phenomenon,” he said backstage after the show. “My aesthetic has always been about an American’s interpretation of European glamour. To put these girls on the Parisian runway was a culmination of everything I do.”
It was a celebration of body diversity and racial diversity.A good marketing strategy?Or the results of the voices that are louder and louder with every season trying to make room for the real customers that need clothes made for their sizes, or the initiative of Balance Diversity that promote black models and diversity in the fashion industry? Well it doesn’t matter because what we’ve seen yesterday at Rick Owens hast to be applauded and we want to hope that it wont be a singular event and that will serve as inspiration for the other designers.
And another good news : the critics were positive too.Here it is what the fashion critics are saying :
Tim Blanks for style.com :
“Rick Owens thinks of himself as the classic American in Paris, mesmerized by the culture that surrounds him. So he wanted to give something back with his new collection, something from his world. But there was no way that Parisians—or anyone anywhere, for that matter—could be prepared for what Rick gave today. More than that, it was bliss to experience Rick’s joyous assault on fashion orthodoxy. “We’re rejecting conventional beauty, creating our own beauty,” he said. He’s acutely aware of the accusations of cultishness that are leveled against his clothes, but all those body types today added up to as inclusive a catwalk vision of womanhood as we’re ever likely to see. Such a gentle notion, and yet it struck home with a sledgehammer force. Sure, the breathtaking presentation counted for a lot, but it got its overwhelmingly timely weight from the culture of denial and exclusion that is currently eroding American politics.”
” Rick Owens: Girl Power. Real and raw, with no trace of sugar-coated cartoon superheroines. That was the main takeaway from Rick Owens’ heart-pumping, foot-stomping, awe-inspiring show.
Instead of traditional models, Owens enlisted women from four American college step teams — the Zetas, Washington Divas, Soul Steppers and Momentums. Each came down the massive set’s staircase clapping and thumping in the style of the energetic dance form with roots in African-American fraternities and sororities, and they were deliberately making angry faces. Pretty, in the traditional fashion sense of the word, was surely not the point, but the cool, almost tribal effect energized the crowd. Owens, for his part, had a more personal subtext in mind.”
The Huffington Post :
“Brown girls literally stepped out on the runway in Paris for Rick Owens’ Spring 2014 RTW show, in what is perhaps the biggest celebration of racial and body diversity in any of the Fashion Week presentations this season.
As the discussion about diversity on the runways reaches a fever pitch, Owens’ decision to have, what appears to be, all minority competitive step teams rocking his collection in lieu of models is making a splash.
The designer’s use of both racial diversity and real full-figured women, instead of the usual size zero, to showcase his clothing is sure to catch some attention. Not to mention bringing step to the international fashion stage. Bravo! “
Los Angeles Times :
” Owens was suggesting we spend too much time trying to read into the meaning of clothes when they are put on such a vaunted stage. They are just clothes after all. The joy the dancers brought to the runway, and the joy Owens brought to the dancers by giving them the experience of a lifetime? That was priceless.”
- Paris Spring 2014: Rick Owens (fashionweekdaily.com)
- Rick Owens Replaced Runway Models With a Step Dance Team (jezebel.com)
- Rick Owens Replaced Runway Models With a Step Team (nymag.com)
- Paris Fashion Week: Rick Owens Had Steppers Model His Spring 2014 Collection (thefader.com)
- Women Warriors: Rick Owens Spring 2014 (hintmag.com)
- Rick Owens Taps Step Dance Team for Mind-Blowing Runway Performance (fashionista.com)
- Rick Owens Paris Fashion Week Show Took Runway Diversity To A Whole New Level (huffingtonpost.com)
- IN MOTION | adidas by Rick Owens Spring 2014 Collection (highsnobiety.com)