Rick Owens loves a platform. His signature boots, with a formidable square toe metal grill and oversized grommets, have walked his dystopian runways since the the fall ’19 season, and he’s made them part of every collection since then. They’ve also developed a fashion-cult following, and the designer often wears the towering footwear himself.
For spring ’21, the usually dark Owens went a little lighter on the footwear — at least in color. The platforms were once again there in all their post-apocalyptic glory , but this time they came mostly in cotton candy or bubblegum pink hue, along with a bright candy-apple red (and a very-Rick slick black). The designer also took the boot up a few notches by extending them up over the thigh, with rectangular tabs reaching the hips of the models who wore them.
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While most other designers so far have avoided showing face masks for spring ’21, neither on their runways nor in their digital presentations, Owens leaned into the reality, matching his boots to his version of a face covering. The masks were mostly shown with the fabric tucked into a shirt or bra. New styling tip for real life, perhaps?
Owens has often been called an intuitive designer, and both the continuance of his apocalyptic footwear and the face coverings reinforced that idea. Since their runway debut a year and a half ago, the boots have appeared as a sort of armor for uncertain times (as have his extremely strong shoulders). Even the designer’s last collection, for the fall ’20 season, seemed to predict the pandemic’s impact on both fashion and life: There were duvet-blankets-as-coats, rubber gloves and a sterile, medical palette that included hospital-scrubs blue.
But even the Mad Max-esque designer seems to be hoping for a sunnier, color-filled future in 2021. Hopefully one with bubblegum thigh-highs.