the glory of lust and vice – rick owens
What do KISS, LaBelle, Grace Jones and Divine have in common? A legendary trailblazing costume designer. Larry LeGaspi, the namesake of Rick Owens’ FW19 collection was a progressive prodigy. Responsible for the black-and-silver space-sleeze 70’s look, as well as the iconic silver lightning bolt motif worn by KISS frontman Ace Frehley, LeGaspi “introduced a camp ferocity to the mainstream and helped set a lot of kids like me free, with his mix of art deco sexual ambiguity and raw, black leather bombast”, Owens credits in his press release. This is by far not the first instance that Rick Owens has talked about LeGaspi. In fact, the collection is seen as an accompaniment to a biography, that the designer authored with publisher Rizzoli, which aims to “fill crucial gaps in the knowledge of Legaspi’s work and impact on the fashion world, while providing a dynamic visual presentation of the life and work of a legend.”
The collection itself was littered with innumerable nods to LeGaspi’s aesthetic, complete with degrade silver-and-black prints on leather trousers and middle-America truck stop jackets, platforms for men in boot or sandal version, the lightning bolt motif inserted into Dracula collared wool coats with oversized 3D pockets or seen as a keychain, and lacquered canvas patch-detailing throughout. Owens muses that in today’s era of squeamish conservatism and easy outrage, one could do with a bit of flamboyance. The lighting at the Palais de Tokyo (where Owens shows most of his collections) was sourced by way of WWII – a 1940s Défense Anti Aerienne searchlight used by the Allies – a step-in for an old Hollywood glam spotlight, which could not be found in time. The music completed the glam ambience perfectly with designer/dj duo Fecal Matter (largely influential to the make-up for the show) remixing an extended version of Leather Nun’s ABBA cover Gimme Gimme Gimme.
images: copyright OWENSCORP