Rick Owens: Subhuman Inhuman Superhuman

29th Jan 2018

Making mannequins is a bizarre business, of that there can be no doubt. Not really belonging to any specific industry; kind of art and sort of fashion; commercial and creative in equal measures. At Proportion London we are deeply inspired by this peculiar dichotomy; given the opportunity, we love to explore the expanse beyond the obvious notion of beauty, so were delighted when we were approached by long-standing client Rick Owens and briefed to create mannequins for his forthcoming show at Triennale di Milano: RICK OWENS. SUBHUMAN, INHUMAN, SUPERHUMAN.

As one would expect of a high-profile fashion designer, time is precious, and whilst Rick Owens is undoubtedly needed in many places at once, he admirably maintains a very hands-on approach to every aspect of his brand. His singular vision enables the true artistic depth of his thoughts and ideas to permeate all aspects of the project; no detail seems too small to be considered. Whilst selecting a male and female figure which would fit the clothing perfectly was easily achieved; finding a face that characterised the brand's mien for the androgynous took more thought. Using digital sculpting technology (also known as 3D printing), we adapted Ricks preferred male head option, making it suitable to be mounted onto the female figure; a slightly unsettling, but so right gender fluid couple. Continuing with the experimental and primal essence of the project, we manufactured the mannequins in pigment-stained fibreglass, left in a raw state and assembled as a patchwork of subdued colour body parts.

The final figures; a 100 strong new model army of statue-like figures were installed in the show at Triennale di Milano, which rather than being a retrospective is an exploration of the designer's influences including furniture, film and an incredible sculptural along with 100 outfits from the firm's prolific archive. The result gives a fascinating insight into this eponymous brand and the mind of its creator. Well worth the plane fare to Milan.


RICK OWENS. SUBHUMAN, INHUMAN, SUPERHUMAN runs until March 25, 2018 at Triennale di Milano (triennale.org)

For more information on this project, please email: info@proportion.london or telephone on +44(0)20 7749 1300