Rick Owens claimed he was fixated on the M-65 field jacket in this collection. Its ambiguity mesmerized him : how something that embodied the dignity of a military uniform should also become the garb of antiwar protestors. "The M-65 represents heroism but questions it at the same time", he mused before his show. But if he was mesmerized, he was also likely a little confused. The substantial combat boots can't have helped. "I don't really like military references", he said. "I don't like to comment on current events". Ironically, one of his models had no such reservations, choosing the catwalk to make an incomprehensible statement about the German chancellor. While it makes sense that one would use the forums one has easy access to in order to communicate one's message, it would certainly make even more sense to get the message straight before so doing. It was a shame, however, that the subsequent furor overshadowed a collection where -more irony- Rick Owens was doing his level best to introduce "frivolity and sparkle". "I've worked so hard on establishing a gray, soft, Joseph Beuys cocoon", he said, "and now I see that around me so much, I have to lighten things up, step it up for the competition". "Lighten" is a relative term for Rick Owens. After years of skirting his love of the late Steven Parrino's art, he surrendered to his influence here, duplicating the artist's crumpled, slashed canvases with a finale of his own sculpted volumes. They were more consciously "arty" than anything Mr Owens has ever showed, but they were oddly beautiful (or beautifully odd). And their shiny, textured surface defined the essence of the collection : the crackled sheen of a sleeveless leather coat, the ivory glaze on another, the alien translucence of transparent leather pieces. They looked like latex. At some point in the show, the potential utility of a Rick Owens outfit asserted itself. Was that a marsupial pouch, or just a swoop of fabric across an elongated tee/tunic ? Or just frivolity ?