Rick Owens’ SS21 show “PHLEGETHON” was deadly in a good way
The name of the collection, Phlegethon, is derived from Greek mythology’s five deadly rivers of the Underworld. In Dante’s Inferno the river is described as boiling souls. The designer was referencing the hell we’ve all been through this year of infamous and tumultuous 2020. In the show notes the designer writes the collection is a “middle finger to doom.” The collection is just that as the pieces show so much defiance with large exaggerated shoulder pads, tall leather boots with metal soles, and futuristic shapes.
The models walk across a piazza in Lido, Venice, and give a new meaning to angst. Every piece is a standout on its own, and not everything is all-black. You’ll see splashes of color of mostly bubblegum pink and a blood red on some of the structured outerwear and boots, making a really nice tonal look, maybe those are the pieces of defiance? As the world was so dreary black, white, and grey, Rick Owens creates a new way to say f- you to the adversities of the year.
Hooded light knit dresses in white and pink paired with tall leather boots one in black and the other in the blood read stick out as some type of warrior. Every look is very editorial, another one that is killer is a sequined outerwear piece with elongated pointed shoulders and exaggerated fluted open sleeves. You’ll notice high-waisted short-shorts with exposed pockets in leather or sequin. An outerwear piece that might be the most structurally intriguing has a circular shape at the chest with opening for the arms at the side in black and a light space gray.
If there’s any collection to describe how we feel about this year it’s “Phlegethon.” We all know Rick Owens is a great thinker and designer, this might be my favorite collection thus far.
Images courtesy of Vogue Runway.