Show and Tell

01.23.15 1:50 AM ET

The Penis Comes Out on the Parisian Catwalk

There it was, peeping out from Rick Owens’s tunic-like creations at the menswear collections. Will men buy clothes that publicly display their genitalia? Warning: Pictures are NSFW.

It’s one of the most oft-quoted nightmares: You’re walking down the street, only to suddenly realize you’re naked.

Now the dream is a pricey reality if you buy certain pieces from the Rick Owens fall/winter collection—tunic-y outfits that recall a Roman emperor or maybe a hipster monk, until you get down to the nether regions where, on a few of the outfits, the material disappears or bunches up and there it is: dick on display.

A collective “ewww, put it away” rang out after the images surfaced online from the Parisian catwalks, where the fall/winter collections are being showcased.

There the dicks are, looking like little woodland creatures peeping out of the undergrowth. Very wrong.

But not for the models. One told The Guardian: “It was not a thing at all.” (He was talking about wearing the outfit, not being bitchy about the size of a colleague’s dick.)

Owens’s understated penises may have been out-glammed by Tom Ford’s penis necklace. But perhaps there is an argument, a good political and cultural argument, for men’s fashion that shows off your tackle, though not “showcases”—in Owens’s case, the clothes in Paris had cutouts around the models’ male members and were more peekaboo than picture frame.

PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 22:  (EDITOR'S NOTE: Image contains Nudity) A model walks the runway during the Rick Owens Menswear Fall/Winter 2015-2016 show at Palais de Tokyo as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 22, 2015 in Paris, France.  (Photo by Kristy Sparow/Getty Images)

Kristy Sparow/Getty

A model walks the runway during the Rick Owens Menswear Fall/Winter 2015-2016 show at Palais de Tokyo as part of Paris Fashion Week on January 22, 2015 in Paris, France.

The Cut noted that “a kind of religious tribal element seeped in” to Owens’s show “with shiftlike robes, some dangling with fluttering materials reminiscent of wind chimes. Some of them had an arched peephole opening revealing the model’s manhood. This actually heightened the religiosity aspect. It wasn’t done in bad taste, but it was mysterious, like sending out bold fertility gods.”

What’s alarming, and welcomingly subversive, is how Owens’s clothes perfectly capture the male member in all its underwhelming glory.

Here it is, not thrusting and bulge-y in a pair of tighty-whities or Speedo, but just hanging there, slack and strange, lost.

Look at these walnuts, women of the world: This ridiculous thing is the basis of patriarchy. This little scrunchy sack and mini-gherkin is the root of wars and female subjugation.

Although quite understandable pleas to “cover up” rang out over the Internet, maybe the pictures of the penises should be distributed as widely as possible, and laughed at by as many people as possible.

And those people should include men, because if anyone labors under what a penis is supposed to culturally carry with it, it’s a man. Here’s a piece of clothing that just shows it for what it is—all bets, and pressure, are off. And cleverly, the tunics work if you’re, umm, big, small, or medium. Big, and you swing away, like a pendulum; medium, and you will hang a respectful column; small or nervous, and you’ll have an intriguing member/scrotum combo, like its very own target.

Owens’s clothing collection brilliantly devastates penis power, and this is all for good.

Of course, if the tunics were meant to show off the penis to hotter effect, then Owens really should have employed a fluffer backstage.

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Apparently, if you were there, you were so transported by the fashion and the gaunt male models looking just as underfed and miserable as their female counterparts, you didn’t even notice their diddlers dancing.

Dazed’s Susie Bubble wrote: “I liked that you hardly noticed it. It wasn’t nudity for the sake of nudity. I honestly didn’t see until somebody pointed out the dick flaps and the undie holes.”

And so forget vexing questions over tight trousers, or Breton stripes. This winter, gentlemen, it will all be about dicks and dick flaps. We’ll have to find new nightmares: This one just became a reality.