PARIS (AP) — California-born designer Rick Owens can always be expected to produce the most high-octane menswear show of the day.
But what was certainly not expected for spring-summer 2014 was the appearance of Estonia's punk-metal group "Winny Puhh" dangling upside down in lycra leotards blasting out a tune on an electric banjo. At the side, two drummers played throughout the show inside a vertical centrifugal wheel that sped up as the show progressed.
So bizarre was the spectacle that, when the 38 all-black looks (plus the two contrasting white ones) starting filing by, revelers didn't immediately take notice.
Despite this, it turned out to be a strong collection.
Simple black forms in leather, sheer paneling and with zippers formed a dropped-waist monochrome silhouette that ended mostly above the knee. There was a distinct feeling of the rebellious adolescent — the goth that dresses only in black — that pervaded the looks.
Skinny models looked intentionally near pre-pubescent, and many had disheveled hair. Sneakers — part of a collaboration with Adidas — added a nice sporty touch.
But the show's main play was on leather contrasts — parchment leather, tissue leather, "juicy" leather, dry leather, hard leather and limp leather.
After the show, Owens described the collection as "energy with a wink." But when the metal music stopped, energy with a headache was nearer the mark.
Thomas Adamson can be followed at Twitter.com/ThomasAdamsonAP