Friday, January 23, 2015

The Rick Owens F/W 2015 Paris Menswear Penis kerfuffle (yes, you read that right)

So, Rick Owens Fall-Winter 2015 show "Sphinx" featured (and I do mean featured) exposed male genitalia.

I guess Owens is a bit more of a classicist, as the OG answer is, of course, Man.

And boy howdy does this show celebrate manhood. I know this is going to be a polarizing show, but personally this makes me want to jump up and down and cheer a little bit!

The Man Himself (he is wearing pants in this shot I assure you)
Photo: Yannis Vlamos
I have no issue with the exposure of bodies in high fashion as clothing is MEANT to accentuate the human body and high fashion is MEANT to push boundaries, EXCEPT in that there is a clear double standard when it comes to exposing men's and women's bodies in fashion.

I'm all for celebrating the female form through fashion and art, so it only stands that the male form should be celebrated too! This sort of show levels the playing field without feeling exploitative.

Note: I consider body image and exploitation questions separately from those of pure nudity but I think that deserves its own post so I'm not going to even try to address it here.

Owens has shown a trend of bucking runway expectations with notable moves such as using a lineup of forty step dancers from Washington, D.C., and New York City-based crews (Momentum, Soul Steps, Zetas, Washington Divas) in place of the usual models in his Spring 2014 show and it's nice to see that he's keeping it going.

It is however a bit sad that either move is even remotely notable in the first place. Celebration of the variability and beauty of the human form and how it looks in a designer's clothing should be the norm in fashion. The focus on a small range of looks and approaches limits creativity and is frankly pretty lazy.

Rick Owens Paris Spring 2014 - "Viscious" Full Show

As for the clothes...

Well there I'm pretty mixed. I like a lot of the coats (mmm double breasted structure in leather and tweed) and I DO appreciate how hard it is to showcase the male form without dipping into the International Male/Romance novel cover side of things, but in general he runs far too oversized/asymmetrical/slouchy for my taste and there's a distinct flavor of slightly rumpled Shaolin Monk (both in the drapey and the lighter structural pieces) and/or "naked guy who had to jump out of bed to answer the door".

image from NewNowNext - original source unknown
I'm still working on finding a video but for now here's a link to the full slideshow.
They have managed to source their pictures from comparatively modest angles so there's nothing other than chest and legs showing there.

Make no mistake however, this show was CLEARLY not supposed to be "suggestive" of nudity as this NewNowNext article more clearly... ahem... demonstrates. (link is exactly as worksafe as one could expect out of any WOMEN's fashion show, which is to say not even a little bit).

This was not a question of wardrobe malfunction, penis showing portholes are carefully placed, drapes are carefully arranged and on a whole the effect seems fairly playful.

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