A gradual plunge into the realm of the surreal can be felt as one observes the showing of Rick Owens’ Mastodon Autumn / Winter 2016 women’s collection. As the models descent Palais de Tokyo‘s spiral staircases, muted beige tones give way to the wrath of earthy brown and orange shades and Salvador Dalí‘s 1937 painting Swans Reflecting Elephants comes to mind, combining in itself – just like Owens‘s clothes – the delicate swan and the strength of the collection’s namesake, the mastodon. In the centre of the palette, folded and ruched are found layers of a peculiar shade of green, inspired by the interior designs of the late Madeleine Castaing. Heavily draped, as if falling onto themselves, are leather dresses, which give way to floor-length capes, reminiscent of royal ermine, just to be followed by flowing fuzzy knits, perfectly complemented by the otherworldly qualities of hair stylist Duffy‘s hair masks.
Not unlike his recent collections, this one comprises mainly of garments showing a somewhat softer side, yet still stays true to Owens‘s vision of the woman warrior – an archetype of primeval femininity, a futuristic rendition of the nymph protectress of nature. Carrying over from his Spring / Summer 2016 men’s collection, the theme of global warming still dominates, ever so present in every ruche and fold of the clothes which according to the creator are meant to “reflect how we might one day calmly fold into the ether.”