Tit For Nut: Rick Owens Embraces the Male Form

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Looks from Rick Owens Fall 2015 Menswear Collection. Photos: Getty Images

Designer Rick Owens presented his Fall 2015 men’s collection in Paris today. An army of models marched out in heavy military-style peacoats layered over turtlenecks, but as the show progressed, well, so did the looks. Like little boys learning how to get dressed for the first time, each was more deconstructed than the last, with neckholes in between their legs, coats worn upside down and backwards—almost turning them into wrap skirts—and front slits exposing the models’ nether regions.  

Titled ‘Sphynx,’ the collection was described as being about “compression / about pressure built-up in silent vessels filled with energy.” Very poetic, sure, as Owens is nothing if not lyrical in his approach to design, but also, that sounds a lot like a penis. Does this mean all that talk about feminism and equality on the runways—and beyond—has caught up with the men? Female models are often forced to reveal all when they walk down the runway, so on the one hand it’s only fair that men also get a chance to bare all. It’s often said that full-frontal male nudity is the final frontier of equality—in movies, television, and yes, even fashion. 

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Looks from Rick Owens Fall 2015 Menswear Collection. Photos: Getty Images

As for Owens, he’s always enjoyed putting on a show. From a collection inspired by a French poem detailing the “sensual adventures of a Faun,” or an Estonian hardcore band suspended from the ceiling by wires, or a group of female African American steppers that brought the house down with their attitude, sound and moves, his runway spectacles are a must-see for editors and fashion fanatics alike, as much for the clothes as for the spectacle that surrounds them. And Owens has always enjoyed deconstructing and rebuilding masculinity by playing with proportion and unexpected pieces. His army of fanatics can be seen from a mile away, “Is that man wearing a skirt?” No, he’s just wearing an extra-long Rick t-shirt. It was only a matter of time before his process brought him right here, bringing the phallus front and center, but framing it around soft folds of fabric. It’s a subtle attempt to break down the final barriers of acceptable ways to cover and show the male body. 

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There were plenty of wearable clothes that actually covered the body in the show, but in the end, his big reveal is what makes the louder statement. Recently, Mark Duplass of the HBO show Togetherness, revealed a new strategy for nudity on his show during an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers. “For every boob that shows up, there should be a testicle to go with it.” Equality for all.  

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