This is arguably one of Rick Owen's most provocative collections to date. The controversial designer drew inspiration for his FW15 season "Sphinx" from a French film set that took place in a military submarine. The main reference from the movie was the reality that built-up pressure led shapes to abruptly change. We saw this happen on the catwalk. Although nudity was meant to be subdued, it became the main focus of the show.
Famously, Owens doesn't shy away from portraying sexual content in his fashion shows. A scene from Nijinksy's 1912 dance "Afternoon of a Faun" was referenced in the show from the previous season. In this scene, a faun masturbated over his lost nymph's scarf. When the models were walking down the runway with scarves, the designer said: "Everybody in the audience, is just waiting for this guy to hump the scarf. I love that!” The designer also enlisted the help of iconic S&M photographer Rick Castro to photograph his 93-year-old father for his AW14 lookbook. In an era when censorship and sex are hot topics, Rick Owens ventured into a taboo subject never fully portrayed before by other designers.
Unsurprisingly, social media embraced the event and hashtags like "DickOwens" and "Freethepeen" were trending. Additionally, Rick received numerous requests for interviews about the "Sphinx" collection from prestigious media outlets. To the publication Womenswear Daily, he offered the following response: “We all know that runway looks aren’t meant to be taken literally. They illustrate an ethos.” He continued, “I pass classical marble statues of nude and draped figures in the park every day, and they are a vision of sensuality — yes, but also of grace and freedom. As a participant in one of our most progressive aesthetic arenas, am I not allowed to use this imagery?”