FEBRUARY 2010

FAULT – FEBRUARY 2010

YOU’VE BEEN IN FASHION SINCE 1994. DOES IT STILL MAKE YOU HAPPY?

MAYBE MORE SO. I’VE LEARNED HOW TO PACE MYSELF BETTER. I CAN APPRECIATE EVERYTHING IN RELATIVE CALM NOW, WITHOUT FEELING LIKE WE COULD DISAPPEAR OVERNIGHT. I FEEL LIKE I’D REALLY HAVE TO DO SOMETHING MAJORLY STUPID TO FUCK IT UP NOW.

DO YOU FIND DESIGNING FURNITURE A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT EXPERIENCE TO DESIGNING CLOTHES? AND WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO MOVE INTO FURNITURE DESIGN?

NOW THAT I THINK OF IT, I ACTUALLY DON’T THINK THERE IS A DIFFERENCE. IT’S ABOUT TRYING TO FIND RATIONAL GRACE IN RESPECT TO THE HUMAN FORM. IT’S ABOUT COMBINING EVERYTHING I’VE EVER LEARNED INTO A NEW CONFIGURATION. I LIKE THE IDEA OF CREATING A GESAMTKUNSTWERK. IS THAT EGOCENTRIC? PROBABLY. BUT I DON’T SEE WHAT DESIGNER WOULDN’T WANT TO APPLY HIS AESTHETIC TO EVERYTHING AROUND HIM. I JUST CAN’T HELP IT. PLEASE INDULGE ME.

YOUR CLOTHES HAVE BEEN LABELLED "GOTH" AND "GRUNGE." WOULD YOU SAY THAT’S ACCURATE, OR IS IT TOO MUCH OF AN OVER-SIMPLIFICATION?

IF A BUSY WORLD NEEDS TO SUMMARIZE ME, I UNDERSTAND. I SUPPOSE AT THE BEGINNING, I ACTUALLY INADVERTENTLY LABELED MYSELF, REFFERING TO MY GOTH YOUTH AND BLITHELY COMBINING THE WORDS GLAMOUR AND GRUNGE INTO "GLUNGE." I GUESS I MADE MY OWN BED. I’M PROBABLY TOO INTERESTED IN HISTORICAL REFERENCES TO BE A TRUE MODERNIST.

YOUR WIFE MICHELE LAMY IS ALSO YOUR BUSINESS PARTNER. HOW IS IT MIXING BUSINESS AND PLEASURE?

I ACTUALLY HAVE THREE BUSINESS PARTNERS AND THINK OF MICHELE AS MY LIFE PARTNER. FOR 20 YEARS SHE HAS HUMANIZED ME AND FORCED ME TO STOP AND LOOK UP AT THE SKY AND BREATHE. SHE’S FEROCIOUS, INSTINCTIVE, FUNNY AND MAGIC. SHE’S MY PERSONAL BEAUTIFUL WITCH.

DO YOU THINK THE FASHION INDUSTRY PUTS TOO MUCH PRESSURE ON DESIGNERS TO COME UP WITH THE RIGHT GOODS?

I THINK IT’S VALIDATING TO FEEL DESIRED. THE MORE DESIRED YOU FEEL, THE MORE YOU WANT TO PRODUCE. NOT A BAD THING. MAYBE NOT A GOOD THING. BUT IT’LL OVERCORRECT AND EVOLVE INTO SOMETHING ELSE WHICH WILL EVOLVE INTO SOMETHING ELSE. I HESITATE TO JUDGE HUMAN NATURE.

YOU’VE ADMITTED IN THE PAST TO LIKING WORKING WITH FUR. WHAT IS IT THAT YOU LIKE SO MUCH ABOUT IT, AND DO NEGATIVE REACTIONS FROM ANTI-FUR DEMONSTRATORS DETER YOU?

IS IT SOMETHING THAT CAN ONLY BE ADMITTED? FUR IS LEATHER, GLORIFIED. IT’S PRIMAL, ELEMENTAL, MIRACULOUS. I HAVE THE GREATEST RESPECT FOR IT AS I DO FOR ALL THE BEAUTIFUL MATERIALS I WORK WITH.

HAS LIVING IN PARIS AFFECTED YOUR VIEWS ON FASHION AND LIFE IN GENERAL?

OBVIOUSLY, YOU HAVE TO RISE TO THE OCASION TO SHOW CLOTHES IN PARIS. IT’S VERY STIMULATING TO BE ALLOWED TO DO SO. THERE’S A WONDERFUL ELEMENT OF FLAMBOYANT PERVERSITY THAT’S ENCOURAGED AND CULTIVATED HERE THAT DOESN’T WORK ANYWHERE ELSE. IT HAS TO BE IMMEDIATE, PRECISE AND SMART. NOW, I’M SPEAKING AS A FASHION FAN. BY NO MEANS DO I SUGGEST THAT I’VE MASTERED THIS. BUT I WILL SAY THAT I’VE LEARNED A LOT OF SOMETHING I CAN’T QUITE PUT MY FINGER ON.

DO YOU PAY MUCH ATTENTION TO THE FASHION SCENE? WHICH DESIGNERS DO YOU LIKE AT THE MOMENT?

I DO PAY ATTENTION. LIKE I SAID, I’M A FASHION FAN. THERE WAS A MOMENT WHEN I HAD A PRESS OFFICE IN PARIS WHERE THE SCENE FELT UNCOMFORTABLY CLOSE—AND AT THE SAME TIME LIKE CRASHING A PARTY I HADN’T REALLY BEEN INVITED TO. I REALIZED THAT REMOVING MYSELF WOULD RELIEVE ME OF THAT SELF-CONCIOUSNESS THAT EMBARRASED ME BECAUSE OF ITS CHILDISHNESS. NOW I FEEL THAT ANY ATTENTION COMES AS A LOVELY SURPRISE.

WHAT’S NEXT FOR RICK OWENS?

I’M BUILDING A GARDEN ON MY ROOFTOP WHICH SHOULD BE READY TO PLANT THIS SUMMER. I HAVE FAIRLY SHORT-TERM, QUIET LITTLE GOALS.

WHAT ARE THE BEST AND WORST THINGS ABOUT YOUR JOB?

BEING GIVEN THE CHANCE AND MEANS TO EXPRESS YOURSELF IS A JACKPOT. HATING MYSELF FOR MOMENTS OF CUNTY IMPATIENCE ISN’T SO GREAT.

ARE YOU INSPIRED BY MUSIC? IF SO, WHAT ARE YOU CURRENTLY LISTENING TO?

TRANCE GENERATORS TO WIND ME UP AND EYDIE GORME TO WIND ME DOWN.

WHAT IS YOUR FAULT?

I’M A BOOT-LICKING, PISS-DRINKING, FINGER-FRIGGING, TIT-TWEAKING, LOVE-BITING, ASS-LICKING, SHIT-STABBING, MOTHERFUCKING SPUNK-LOVING, COCKSUCKING, FIST-FUCKING, COOL LIVING, EVER GIVING, USELESS MAN.