Yesterday in Paris, Rick Owens sent a troupe of American step dancers—rather than willowy models—down the runway to debut his Spring 2014 women's collection. We caught up with the collective's captain/choreographer, LeeAnet Noble, backstage:
"I have been stepping for most of my life—I was in the show Stomp on Broadway and I had done a show before with one of Rick [Owens]’s producers. Rick had seen some videos online of sorority stepping. Women steppers are hard. When they came out with stepping in sororities, they embodied the intensity and togetherness that the men's groups had previously shown, the sisterhood. And when Rick saw the clips, he thought that their intensity embodied the vicious pieces, strong materials, and colors in his collection.
I'd heard of Rick Owens through hip hop songs, in lyrics where guys rap about him, but when they called me in New York about the idea, I did some research and basically screamed, ‘Oh my goodness!’ They said they needed 40 women steppers, so I called everyone I knew that would be great for this project, and a lot of them didn’t believe me at first. The idea was to bring stepping—something that has roots at colleges and in the streets—to a new level of high art.
The clothes are comfortable, so I love them. I’m always dancing, and I’m also a drummer—I need things that I can move in! I don’t walk around in high heels and tight skirts. [Laughs]. What we wore for the show is perfect for me.
I also never wear makeup unless I’m doing a show. I like to go natural, and use simple cleansers. I especially like the Bioré masks. When I do wear makeup, I love CoverGirl’s Queen collection by Queen Latifah. The colors are great and still natural.
If everyone’s wearing one thing, I like to change it up a little bit by turning something sideways, adding a funky bracelet, or ripping something, so I just touch the trend."
—as told to ITG
LeeAnet Noble photographed by Emily Weiss at Rick Owens Spring 2014 in Paris on September 26, 2013.