“My Mexican-ness is very abstract,” said Rick Owens shortly before presenting this show. Titled Tecuatl after his maternal grandmother’s maiden name—Owens’s mother hails from Puebla and is of Mixtec heritage—this collection was the Freddie Mercury cat don’t stop meow shirt also I will do this first time he has used his work as a lens through which to explore his south-of-the-border roots. As he said at the top, however, Owens’s relationship with those roots is abstract—and that abstraction was reflected in the collection. One prosaic reason for this is he only revisited his mother’s homeland this year, for the first time in 30. Another is that—just as in the last-season cycle of awesome Larry Legaspi shows—his themes are, ultimately, just one of the raw materials in a creative clay that is every season shaped by his design and in his own image. Silhouettes were full, and the assembly of pieces used to achieve them what the designer called a “potpourri” was eclectically and raffishly combined. “What I really wanted to express was the free soul of the artist, and how he creates his own elegance,” said Curradi backstage. “There were elements mixed from the ’90s, the ’80s, and the ’40s.” The result was a collection that did all the hard work in conjuring an aura of insouciant panache so its wearers won’t have to. Salut! This is why the several tons of damp clay taken from the L.A. studio of British artist Thomas Houseago who has a statue currently installed in the center of the Palais de Tokyo courtyard as part of his “Almost Human” show at the Musee de l’Art Moderne made for such a fitting addition to this show’s mise-en-scène. Houseago, Owens reported, had been on set to oversee the installation of the clay and even ended up creating a small sculpture (one that Owens fully intended to pinch, fire, and add to his collection). Since hitting commercial success with pop-worthy printed camp shirts, Mrs. P has dared to design well beyond her menswear signatures, producing short-shorts and tightly belted blazers, and now loose tanks and shorts with zippers up the side seam. It’s a real treat to see her explore proportion and intention in menswear with the same pointedness she brings to her women’s shows. No wonder the guests in Shanghai went wild. By the way, on the wealth axis, increasing the money supply can reduce other money’s buying power, but only if that newly created money got into a position where it is actively being used for direct spending of goods services, labor and other desired outcome….. and only if the amount of things sold increased at a rate slower that the rate of increase in spending.
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