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RICK OWENS
Fall 2016

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Dinosaurs and tar pits, evolution, art nouveau, and the primordial ooze. Rick Owens creates clothes that look like no one else’s because he sublimates into his designs themes that other designers wouldn’t—perhaps couldn’t—touch. For Fall, Owens recounted that his partner Michèle Lamy had begun keeping bees on the rooftop of the Brutalist concrete mausoleum they call home; he thought it was an instinctive response to environmental change. 2015 was the hottest year since records began. Those kind of facts got Owens thinking “about the ecological anxiety we are all feeling. What is the worst possible scenario?”

Total and utter annihilation, of course. Going the way of the dinosaurs—which is why the collection was called Mastodon and featured a parade of truly Jurassic parkas. And suits, and bombers, and the dresses-for-dudes that Owens somehow makes look viable. Postapocalyptic isn’t exactly uncharted territory for Owens; his battered and tattered clothes and whey-faced models tend to evoke the notion of not only teetering on the brink, but hurtling headfirst into the abyss. And yet, even for him, the suppurating sheepskin garments seeping around his models’ bodies, like magma melting and melding body parts together, were disquieting. I’ve heard of “fluid” clothing before, but this was something else entirely, in shades of black, chalk white, American tan, and corpse gray. There was lots of shearling. It had the thick, spongy texture you’d imagine of flayed flesh.