At Paris Fashion Week, on March 3rd, Rick Owens sent a collection down the runway that was the absolute antithesis to the current consumptive habits of fast fashion. By hand draping each of the FW ’16 garments, Owens added his own “handwriting” to each of the 42 looks in the collection, therefore making each piece unique and at total odds with the mass production of today’s industry. As with Men’s FW’16, the collection was called “Mastodon”, in reference to the extinct giants that once roamed the earth and as a metaphorical allusion to two swiftly changing climates: our natural environment and the fashion landscape. Owens stated, “I’m thinking about evolution a lot, and the uneasiness about environmental changes but maybe even industry changes, any changes can be prevalent, and when I call a collection Mastodon it’s to remind us that everything has a shelf-life, and it’s to remind us that we will one day be mastodons and it’s just natural process.”

Although these changes could turn out to be for better or for worse, Owens injected beauty into a wary theme. The materiality and palette of the collection signaled a complete cycle of life and death, from atmospheric lightness to rooted earthiness and back again. While each outfit contained undulating folds and curves, opening looks made of lush wovens, velvets, and other lightly gleaming fabrics were airy and contemplative in creams, with hints of black, grays, and a surprise green palette of pistachios and mints. Heavier fabrics in browns and oranges came next in more elephantine proportions followed by a final return to the opening palette. Several models in the show wore a sort of weightless hair helmet, meant to signal a sort of evaporation and absorption back into the atmosphere or as Owens explained, “Our molecules mixing with the world’s molecules mixing with molecules throughout all eternity. We’re all one with the universe.”

Check out his current collection available for purchase here


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