Penis-baring provocateur Rick Owens shocked at Paris Fashion Week today, sending models down the runway with other contorted models slung across their backs like human knapsacks.
The designer released a statement explaining his collection was named “Cyclops,” providing a follow-up to his spring menswear showcase that shared the same name. The Cyclops, he detailed, is a mythological creature with a focused vision of “nourishment, sisterhood, motherhood and regeneration;” the model accessories were representations of “women raising women, women becoming women and women supporting women,” he said.
Brooklyn dance collective FlucT—composed of Monica Mirabile and Sigrid Lauren—has publicly accused Owens of stealing their work, which similarly explores weight balance between the two performance artists. Mirabile posted the following image to Instagram earlier today, saying she’s been “copped and cropped and slung to hang dry.”
The similarity between Owens’ models and FlucT’s signature work is undeniable, though it’s difficult to fully prove if the designer lifted his idea directly from the duo. (See BCALLA versus Discount Universe) One user pointed out in the comments that “some of these positions become inevitable” when working with partnering and weight bearing—a strong argument that Mirabile recognized, while also arguing that Owens’ team is much too wide-reaching for this to be a mere accident. “It’s a cultural problem,” she said.
Being major fixtures in the NY performance art scene, FlucT could’ve certainly made a star appearance on Owens’ moodboard this season, but perhaps the designer was also referencing Leigh Bowery from 1993; tracing inspiration and pointing fingers is almost always a hopeless cause, especially in an age when ideas are endlessly circulating online.
This isn’t the first time FlucT feels they’ve been appropriated, citing Sia’s “Chandelier video” and Kanye West’s Yeezy lookbooks as shameless knock-offs, as well.
“It has come to our attention these last two years that many pop fame artists have appropriated FlucT work,” the duo said in an exclusive statement. “We understand how expression is passed and recycled along, but the direct translation with lack of meaning has become exploitive. FlucT is totally misrepresented and underrepresented, and in culture run by capital, we understand the big leagues take the cake even if they stole it. Our dance narratives and body vocabulary talks directly about this exploitation, specifically on women, and now it’s very directly being activated in our social lives as artists. Our work is being taken from us by people who obviously don’t give a shit about exploiting artists’ personal creativity and it simply sucks.”