it wasn't that long ago when rick owens, the one time los angeles based designer began showing his eponymous collection during new york fashion week. and although he developed a devout following and became a cult figure in the world of fashion, it wasn't until he relocated to paris in 2003 where his avant garde and gothic sensibility found its spiritual home. it takes a city like paris to unleash the full potential of owens' romantic vision. in the few years that he made the city of lights home, his aesthetic has evolved and blossomed and ever since, his vision has become one of the most influential forces in fashion. it was owens, along with olivier theyskens who was responsible for the gothic trend that captured the zeitgeist of today's youth movement that eventually percolated onto the streets. spawning countless of imitators that through owens they found a sensei to lead the dojo of the urban environment. owens' success, like all successful and influential designers, lies on an extremely personal point of view. when all his collections are looked at as a whole, there is an obvious language that contains the words together so succinctly, yet each season he adds just enough to enrich and progress the vocabulary. this season all his trademarks came out in full force. the asymmetric layering, the blacks, the apocalyptic footwear, the playing of proportion. these are trademarks one always expects to see at an owens presentation but it was denim that gave this collection a new twist that kept it from feeling redundant. while this sense of slow evolution in an extremely fast paced industry such as fashion could be detrimental to other designers, owens flourishes because as imitated as he is, he still manages to beat out his countless doppelgangers because let's face it, he is the best at what he does.