Rick Owens Spring 2012 Ready-to-Wear Collection

While most designers who toyed with minimalism did it a season ago, Rick Owens scaled the heights of that trend, bringing it to its apotheosis in his latest ready-to-wear. And like last season, here he continues to explore elegance, but never without a hint of provocation. Those solid virginal white column dresses saw the relief they needed in a side slit. They also came with a single seam going down the front.

Last season’ silhouette, the angular skirts and voluminous tops, came slightly altered with bell-shaped shoulders and bell sleeves. The cocoon tops and jackets recalled Cristobal Balenciaga’s own couture-tailored ovals and bells shapes. There was plenty of layering happening with these clothes, as one can expect with Owens – a keen sense of layering being one of his simple pleasures. One all black look had a knee-length bell-shouldered leather jacket, the covered neckline suggesting a floor sweeping halter dress.

Owens’ shows have been imbued with a palpable sense of spirituality as of late. The Owens woman has dropped the tough-girl act and has moved on to something more tied to serenity and purity. The models here looked like leather-clad oracles – sages in bias cut leather vests and moto jackets, though the sensational pants, in all their 70s generosity, were way more Palazzo than Delphi.