That Owens showed in front of the Lido Casino with no audience and not in Paris was a function of the coronavirus pandemic. Venice is two hours away from Owens’ Italian factory, where he’s been holed up. And incidentally, the word quarantine originates from the Venetian language and the region’s response to the bubonic plague in medieval times.
For all of these reasons, his spring collection felt like the defiant fashion act we’ve all been waiting for, what Owens dubbed “an exaggerated middle finger to doom” expressed with major shoulders, thigh-high boots, “lurid” colors, crisp tunics, flowing robes and sculptural capes.
The display was exhilarating, and the free-flowing clothes newsy for Owens, especially the simple yet architectural tunics and the chiffon shrouds in bubblegum pink with trailing ribbons. As he did for his terrific men’s collection for spring, Owens revisited some old, but still good ideas: fishnet tank dresses and hoodies that wink back to the masks used for his fall 2012 show.