Rick Owens thinks of himself as the classic American in Paris, mesmerized by the culture that surrounds him. So he wanted to give something back with his new collection, something from his world. But there was no way that Parisians—or anyone anywhere, for that matter—could be prepared for what Rick gave today.
For inspiration, he looked to stepping, which evolved in African-American colleges as a hybrid of step dancing, cheerleading, and military drill. (Choreographers Lauretta Malloy Noble and her daughter LeeAnet added other elements—Zulu dancing, for instance—to customize the designer’s presentation.) For the past five months, Owens and his people worked with stepping teams from four sororities—Washington Divas, Soul Steppers, The Momentums, The Zetas—to produce a performance that was as spectacularly synchronized and spotlit as a Busby Berkeley celluloid set piece from the golden age of Hollywood.