Nicki Minaj, Alicia Keys, Donna Karan, and Vera Wang walk into a bar. That’s not the beginning of a joke, it’s just the scene at Rick Owens, where the Palais de Tokyo’s cavernous rave cave was flipped into an austere fashion show space.
“I’ve always thought of runway shows as contemporary ceremonies,” Owens says, referencing religious cultures like Ancient Egypt (for the giant animal ears), Greek Orthodoxy (for the priest hats). There were also hooded veils that were pretty much sweatshirt burkas.
“I always say, if I didn’t wear me, I’d wear Rick,” Karan told us from the front row. “In the beginning, when he first came out, I was a little bit struck by our similar style,” she laughed. “But his evolution has been incredible and I think he’s brilliant, the kind of artist we really need in the fashion world.” (What don’t we need in the fashion world? “Any more delays from the runway to the store,” Karan said. “I always say, I don’t show, I sell… customers want what they see in a fashion show immediately. Like right this second. We’ve got to provide that for them and too many labels still haven’t gotten the message.” Karan has—her new line, Urban Zen, is for sale immediately.)
To her point, Owens is one of the few designers to offer every single thing on his runway for sale in his store—which means if Nicki Minaj wants a sweatshirt burka, she just has to hit North LaBrea Avenue the next time she’s in LA.