JANUARY 2017

LUNCHEON — LUNCHTIME IN LOS ANGELES IN PARIS — AUTUMN 2016 — BY CHARLIE PORTER

IT IS THE EVENING OF THURSDAY 23 JUNE 2016, A FEW HOURS AFTER RICK OWENS PRESENTED HIS MEN’S SPRING SUMMER 2017 COLLECTION IN PARIS. TO CELEBRATE, HE HAS GATHERED TOGETHER SOME OLD FRIENDS AND RELATIVES ON THE PATIO OF THE 7IÈME ARRONDISSEMENT HOME AND STUDIO HE SHARES WITH HIS PARTNER, MICHÈLE LAMY. THE COUPLE HAVE KNOWN MICHAEL LINDSAY-HOGG AND HIS WIFE LISA SINCE THE 1980S, WHEN THEY ALL LIVED IN LOS ANGELES. AT THE TIME, MICHÈLE RAN THE RESTAURANTS CAFÉ DES ARTISTES AND LES DEUX CAFÉS, ESTABLISHMENTS THAT HAVE BECOME FOLKLORIC IN THE HISTORY OF MODERN HOLLYWOOD FOR THEIR PRIVACY AND CONVIVIALITY. MEANWHILE, RICK WAS MAKING HIS FIRST MOVES INTO STARTING HIS OWN LABEL. MICHAEL IS A FILM, TELEVISION AND THEATRE DIRECTOR ACROSS MANY GENRES, DIRECTING LET IT BE FOR THE BEATLES, THE ROLLING STONES ROCK AND ROLL CIRCUS AND VIDEOS FOR THE BEATLES, THE WHO AND THE ROLLING STONES FOR 15 YEARS, EPISODES OF BRIDESHEAD REVISITED AND THE OBJECT OF BEAUTY WITH JOHN MALKOVICH AND ANDIE MACDOWELL. HE PAINTS AND DRAWS AND INDEED SOME OF HIS DRAWINGS WERE CELEBRATED IN THE DEBUT ISSUE OF LUNCHEON.

WE JOIN THE CONVERSATION AS MICHÈLE, RICK, MICHAEL AND LISA ARE REMEMBERING WHEN THEY FIRST MET. AMONG THE OTHERS AT THE TABLE IS MICHÈLE’S DAUGHTER SCARLETT ROUGE AND HER BOYFRIEND ANATOL LAFAYETTE, BOTH ARTISTS, JANET FISHCHGRUND, UK BRAND AMBASSADOR FOR RICK OWENS, AND FRANCES VON HOFMANNSTHAL, LUNCHEON’S EDITOR IN CHIEF: THEY ARE DOWN THE FAR END AND MOSTLY OUT OF EARSHOT, BUT JOIN IN THE CONVERSATION OCCASIONALLY AS THE EVENING FLOWS. FOOD IS PREPARED BY MICHÈLE AND RICK’S HOUSE CHEF, DIEUVEIL MALONGA, WHO HAS WORKED WITH MICHÈLE ON HER VARIOUS BARGE PROJECTS AT THE VENICE BIENNALE AND DURING FRIEZE ART FAIR IN LONDON. IT MAY BE DINNERTIME IN PARIS, BUT IT WAS LUNCHEON IN LOS ANGELES, SO THE GATHERING IS VALID FOR THIS PUBLICATION. THE FIRST COURSE, MONKFISH WITH RED PEPPER, HAS JUST BEEN SERVED…

MICHÈLE LAMY: IT WAS AT THE TIME WE GOT HELD UP BY GUNS.

RICK OWENS: WE GOT BROKEN INTO AT THE PLACE WE WERE STAYING AT, SOMEBODY HELD US UP BY GUNPOINT. SO THE DAY AFTER, MICHÈLE SAID, ‘WE ARE MOVING TO THE CHATEAU MARMONT’. MICHÈLE: I SAID, ‘WE CANNOT AFFORD IT, BUT WE NEED TO BE HERE’. AND WE STAYED FOR TWO YEARS. MICHAEL WAS LIVING ACROSS THE HALL. AND I REMEMBER SEEING THIS ONE (MICHÈLE POINTS TO LISA) IN THE CORRIDOR. I THOUGHT IT WAS SOME SORT OF S&M THING BECAUSE IT LOOKED SO MYSTERIOUS. LISA LINDSAY-HOGG: IT WAS BEFORE ANDRÉ BALAZS HAD REFURBISHED IT.

MICHÈLE: WE DID NOT KNOW EACH OTHER WELL AT THE TIME BUT I REMEMBER SEEING LISA IN THE CORRIDOR. RICK: SNEAKING OUT.

LISA: (LAUGHING) IS THAT HOW YOU DESCRIBE IT?

MICHAEL: I THINK WE WERE IN ROOM 29 AND YOU WERE IN ROOM 28. I REMEMBER YOU HAD LOTS OF RACKS OF CLOTHES.

CHARLIE PORTER: HOW MUCH DID A ROOM COST AT THE CHATEAU THEN?

MICHAEL: I HAD A SUITE FOR $125 A DAY.

MICHÈLE: WE WERE PAYING $3000 A MONTH.

MICHAEL: NORMALLY PEOPLE I WAS WORKING FOR PAID THE BILL. IF I WASN’T WORKING, IT WAS A LITTLE LIKE HEMORRHAGING MONEY.

RICK: BUT REMEMBER MY BAR BILLS? YEAH, THAT’S WHERE WE GOT INTO A HOLE. ROOM SERVICE.

MICHAEL: BEFORE ANDRÉ OWNED IT, IT WAS OWNED BY A COUPLE OF ARMENIAN GUYS, ONE OF WHOM HAD A BIG ROLLS ROYCE IN THE GARAGE. I SAID TO THE MANAGER, PLEASE GIVE ME A BILL ONCE EVERY MONTH OR TWO, SO WHEN IT COMES I DON’T GET TOO MUCH OF A SHOCK. I DIDN’T GET A BILL FOR SIX MONTHS. SO I GO DOWN TO HIM AND I SAY, ‘I CAN’T PAY THIS’, AND HE SAYS, ‘WELL WHAT CAN YOU PAY?’ I SAID, ‘HALF?’ HE SAID, ‘OK, GIVE US HALF’. THAT’S WHAT IT WAS LIKE THEN. THAT WAS THE OLD DAYS. IT WAS WONDERFULLY RAFFISH.

MICHÈLE: HOW DID YOU TWO MEET?

MICHAEL: SANNA, THE RECEPTIONIST AT THE CHATEAU, INTRODUCED LISA AND ME. SHE WAS A DANISH GIRL, WE WENT OUT FOR A WHILE. THEN A FEW YEARS LATER, I GOT REALLY BROKE AND I WAS GOING TO DO A MOVIE BASED ON THE IVANA TRUMP BOOK, AND WE WERE TRYING TO CAST A GIRL WHO LOOKED BEAUTIFUL AND LIKE IVANA. SO I SAID TO SANNA, ‘WHY DON’T YOU COME AND READ FOR THIS PART?’ BECAUSE SHE WANTED TO ACT. AND SHE GOT THE PART.

LISA: BUT YOU ONLY GAVE HER THE INTRODUCTION, IT WASN’T ACTUALLY NEPOTISM.

MICHAEL: SHE’S THE ONE WHO INTRODUCED LISA AND ME. SO WHERE DID YOU TWO MEET?

MICHÈLE: WE’VE TOLD THAT STORY A THOUSAND TIMES!

RICK: MAKE LITTLE PARTS UP! JUICE IT UP A BIT!

MICHÈLE: I HAD TO INTERVIEW HIM. FOR A JOB. I HAD THIS CLOTHING COMPANY, DOING SOME MICHÈLE LAMY STUFF. IF YOU WANT THE LONG VERSION, THERE WAS ANOTHER RICK, AND I SAID, YOU SHOULD START WORKING WITH ME. HE SAID HE’D LIKE TO DO THAT BUT HE DIDN’T KNOW HOW TO MAKE PATTERNS BUT THAT HE KNEW A GREAT PATTERN MAKER.

(RICK STARTS SMILING)

MICHAEL: RICK, YOU THEN WERE 25, 26?

RICK: 25.

MICHÈLE: NOT EVEN. WHEN WE STARTED TO BE TOGETHER YOU WERE 25.

MICHAEL: SO YOU WENT FOR AN INTERVIEW WITH HER?

RICK: I WENT FOR AN INTERVIEW WITH HER, BUT WE NEVER ACTUALLY…

MICHÈLE: YEAH THAT’S HIS VERSION, BUT WHAT I WANT TO SAY (MICHÈLE PAUSES, EVERYONE LAUGHS). THAT OTHER RICK WANTED TO BE WITH THIS RICK. SO THEN WE HAD RICK WORKING THERE, THE OTHER RICK TOO, GOOD RICK, BAD RICK, AND SO THERE WERE ALL THESE STORIES OF THE TWO RICKS, AND HE (POINTING AT RICK) MAKES THE STORY TO SAY THAT HE NEVER TALKED TO ME. THAT WAS SO WRONG.

RICK: NO I’M NOT SAYING I DIDN’T TALK TO YOU, I’M JUST SAYING I NEVER REALLY GOT TO KNOW YOU UNTIL AFTER A COUPLE OF YEARS.

MICHÈLE: AFTER YOU KILLED THE OTHER RICK.

RICK: AFTER I GOT RID OF THE OTHER RICK. AFTER I ELIMINATED THE OTHER RICK.

MICHÈLE: VOILÀ!

MICHAEL: WHEN DID YOU START TO GO OUT?

RICK: I THINK OUR FIRST DATE WAS HALLOWEEN. WE WENT DANCING IN WATER THE BUSH [A CLUB NIGHT AT THE STARDUST BALLROOM]. WASN’T THAT THE FIRST TIME WE WENT SOMEWHERE BY OURSELVES?

MICHÈLE: I THOUGHT IT WAS FOR THAT STARN TWINS SHOW.

RICK: NO BECAUSE WE WERE ALREADY LIVING TOGETHER THEN. BECAUSE WE HAD PORK WITH US AND PORK HAD CRASHED AT THE HOUSE THAT DAY…

MICHAEL: PORK?

RICK: I REMEMBER THAT I WAS GOING TO ORDER MORE VODKA FROM… WHAT WAS THE NAME OF THAT PLACE I USED TO ORDER LIQUOR FROM? THE LIQUOR LOCKER?... YOU TOLD ME TO CANCEL THE ORDER BECAUSE WE WERE GOING TO THE STARN TWINS SHOW, WE GOT TO THE BLACK TRUCK AND WE ALL WENT TO THE STARN TWINS AND WE HAD PORK WITH US. HIS NAME WAS PORK.

MICHÈLE: THEN WE GOT STOPPED BY THE POLICE IN THE LA RIVER.

RICK: OH YEAH. BECAUSE I HAD THIS BLACK T-TYPE CAMARO THAT I’D ALWAYS WANTED SINCE I WAS A TEENAGER.

MICHÈLE: THAT I HAD TO SIGN FOR (SHE LAUGHS).

RICK: THERE’S A SECRET WAY TO GET INTO THE LA RIVER, BY RAMP. WE WERE DRIVING ROUND IN THE LA RIVER DRINKING BEER BECAUSE IT WAS LATE AND WE COULDN’T GET ANYTHING ELSE. WE GOT STOPPED BY THE POLICE AND I JUST REMEMBER THE FEATHERS YOU WERE WEARING ON YOUR HEAD.

LISA: NO WONDER THE POLICE STOPPED YOU.

MICHÈLE: THEY TOLD US TO GET AWAY.

RICK: THEY SAID IT WAS DANGEROUS, GANG WARS AND STUFF. THEY FOUND EMPTY BOTTLES OF VODKA UNDER MY SEAT.

MICHÈLE: BUT THEY COULDN’T CARE LESS.

RICK: THEY LET US GO.

MICHAEL: WHEN DID YOU STOP DRINKING?

RICK: RIGHT BEFORE 40. THAT’S WHEN I STOPPED. IT TOOK ME ABOUT THREE TIMES. I WAS A REALLY BAD DRINKER. I WAS A BINGE DRINKER AND I WOULD JUST NOT STOP UNTIL I PASSED OUT AND WHEN I REGAINED CONSCIOUSNESS I WOULD JUST KEEP GOING. I WAS VERY MESSY ABOUT IT, AND SO I FINALLY JUST STOPPED BECAUSE MY HEALTH WAS JUST TOO JEOPARDISED. IT WAS REALLY SCARY. I WAS REALLY SCARED. SO I JUST HAD TO STOP. BUT IT WAS FINE. I NEVER REALLY DID AA OR ANYTHING. I DON’T EVEN CRAVE IT. IT’S KIND OF LIKE A BAD GIRLFRIEND. IT’S LIKE SOMEONE I HAD A GREAT TIME WITH, A LONG TIME AGO BUT WE COULD NEVER, EVER LIVE TOGETHER AGAIN.

MICHAEL: (MICHAEL GETS SCARLETT’S ATTENTION). SCARLETT, WE’VE HAD THE PLEASURE OF KNOWING YOU THROUGHOUT YOUR LIFE. WHEN DID YOU LIVE WITH OUR DARLING MICHÈLE?

SCARLETT: FROM ZERO TO NINE, THEN A LITTLE BIT HERE AND THERE IN BETWEEN. I SPENT THE SUMMER AND EVERY HOLIDAYS IN LA.

MICHAEL: WHERE DID YOU GO AND LIVE AGED NINE?

SCARLETT: LYON. I WAS LIVING WITH MICHÈLE’S SISTER, AUNT BETTY. THEN I LEFT AND I WENT AT 16 TO SANTA BARBARA IN CALIFORNIA WHERE I WAS LIVING WITH MY FATHER. HE HAD A GRAVEYARD SHIFT JOB EDITING, SO HE WASN’T HOME AT NIGHT. I COULD DO WHAT THE FUCK I WANTED.

CHARLIE: MICHAEL, CAN YOU REMEMBER WHEN YOU FIRST MET MICHÈLE?

MICHAEL: I MET MICHÈLE AT CAFÉ DES ARTISTES. IT WAS BEFORE I MET LISA, SO IT MUST HAVE BEEN 1986, 87, 88.

RICK: SO YOU USED TO GO TO THE CAFÉ WITH NONA SUMMERS [LONG TIME CONTRIBUTING EDITOR TO BRITISH VOGUE]?

MICHAEL: CAFÉ DES ARTISTES WAS WITH NONA, I THINK.

LISA: BUT I WENT THERE TOO, BEFORE I MET YOU.

MICHAEL: YOU WENT THERE SEPARATELY. I REMEMBER GOING TO CAFÉ DES ARTISTES WITH SUSAN FORRISTAL, DAMIEN HARRIS, DIRECTOR AND THE BROTHER OF JARED, THE ACTOR. AND WHO’S THE GIRL WHO USED TO GO OUT WITH JULIAN SCHNABEL? THAT WAS I THINK THE LAST TIME I WENT TO CAFÉ DES ARTISTES, WHICH I THINK WAS 1990?

LISA: WE WENT THERE TOGETHER. I REMEMBER GOING THERE WITH YOU.

MICHAEL: AND MICHÈLE WAS THERE. SO THAT WOULD BE 1990.WHEN DID YOU LEAVE CAFÉ DES ARTISTES, MICHÈLE?

MICHÈLE: I HATE TO COUNT. I NEVER REMEMBER THE YEARS.

LISA: BUT WHEN YOU LEFT CAFÉ DES ARTISTES, DIDN’T IT CONTINUE AFTER?

MICHAEL: IT DID. WE WENT THERE AND IT WAS TERRIBLE.

CHARLIE: WHERE WAS CAFÉ DES ARTISTES?

MICHÈLE: IT WAS ON MCCADDEN [A COUPLE OF BLOCKS SOUTH OF HOLLYWOOD BOULEVARD]. AT THAT TIME HOLLYWOOD WAS REALLY DESPERATE, WITH DRUG DEALERS, CRYSTAL METH, EVERYTHING. BUT WE HAD A FANTASTIC TIME THERE, THERE WAS ALWAYS SOMETHING AMAZING. THEN, WHEN I WANTED TO MOVE ONE BLOCK UP THE STREET TO LAS PALMAS [THE LOCATION OF LES DEUX CAFÉS], I HAD TO FIGHT THE CITY. THEY DIDN’T WANT TO GIVE ANOTHER LIQUOR LICENCE. EVENTUALLY I GOT A MEDAL FROM THE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE FOR THE REGENERATION OF HOLLYWOOD.

LISA: YOU DID.

MICHAEL: AND RICK, THAT WAS YOUR ATELIER ACROSS THE STREET?

RICK: WE LIVED THERE. WE MOVED IN THERE WHILE YOU WERE DOING CONSTRUCTION AT LES DEUX CAFÉS. HOW DID IT WORK?

MICHÈLE: YOU MOVED IN BEFORE. YOU FOUND THE STUDIO, WE WERE STILL AT THE CAFÉ, WE MOVED.

RICK: AND THEN YOU STARTED CONSTRUCTION. I REMEMBER A FANTASTIC PICTURE OF YOU WALKING TOWARDS THE CURTAINS AT THE FRONT, ON THE WAY TO GO ACROSS THE STREET TO WORK ON THE CONSTRUCTION. YOU’RE WEARING MARGIELA SHOES AND ONE OF MY BIAS SKIRTS. THE SILHOUETTE IS VERY FLATTERING ON YOUR SHAPE. I HAVE TO FIND IT.

MICHAEL: BUT THE PREMISES AT LES DEUX, DIDN’T YOU MOVE A HOUSE FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER? BECAUSE IT ENDED UP IN THE BACK OF A PARKING LOT.

MICHÈLE: I WAS AT CAFÉ DES ARTISTES, AND THESE PEOPLE HAD AN EMPTY HUGE PARKING LOT. THEY SAID, ‘WHY DON’T YOU MOVE?’

RICK: BECAUSE THOSE GUYS USED TO GO TO CAFÉ DES ARTISTES, RIGHT? THEY WERE RASCALS.

CHARLIE: AT WHAT POINT DID YOU START MAKING YOUR OWN CLOTHES?

RICK: AT THE CHATEAU. NO, THAT’S NOT TRUE. I WAS MAKING CLOTHES IN THE APARTMENT THAT WE GOT HELD UP IN. I WAS DOING STUFF FOR COSTUMES, THEN I DID THE FIRST REAL COLLECTION OF CLOTHES THAT I SOLD IN THE CHATEAU. I FORGOT ABOUT THAT UNTIL RECENTLY. WE LIVED ABOVE THE KITCHEN AT THE BACK OF THE CHATEAU BECAUSE IT WAS CHEAP. IT’S NOT WHAT IT IS NOW. IT WAS A DUMP.

MICHÈLE: WHY DO YOU WANT TO KNOW ALL THESE STORIES?

MICHAEL: I’M ALWAYS INTERESTED IN HISTORY.

CHARLIE: MICHÈLE, IT TOOK YOU EIGHT MONTHS AFTER YOU LEFT CAFÉ DES ARTISTES TO OPEN LES DEUX CAFÉ?

MICHÈLE: I HAD CONSTRUCTION PROBLEMS.

MICHAEL: IT WAS THE MOST BEAUTIFUL RESTAURANT BECAUSE IT WAS LIKE AN LA PARKING LOT, COMPLETELY UNGLAMOROUS. AND THEN YOU’D GO THROUGH A LITTLE DOOR IN THE SIDE AND THERE WAS JUST A GUY SITTING THERE WITH A CLIPBOARD. AND THEN SUDDENLY YOU CAME INTO THIS PARADISE WITH A BEAUTIFUL GARDEN, I THINK THERE WASN’T A POND IN THE MIDDLE BUT STONE THINGS FILLED WITH WATER AND FLOWERS, THEN YOU’D GO INTO A DINNER ROOM…

LISA: AND THERE WAS MICHÈLE!

MICHÈLE: THE KITCHEN WAS IN ANOTHER BUILDING.

MICHAEL: AND EVERYBODY HAD TO WALK ACROSS THE STREET WITH THE FOOD?

RICK: THERE WASN’T A LOT OF TRAFFIC.

MICHÈLE: THE SIDE STREET WAS VERY SMALL. WHEN YOU ARE ON THE RIVIERA, RESTAURANTS ARE BY THE SEA, AND KITCHENS ARE SOMEWHERE ELSE. FOR ME IT WAS NORMAL.

RICK: EVEN THOUGH THIS WAS NOT THE RIVIERA.

MICHÈLE: IT WAS A LOT BETTER THAN THE RIVIERA. I HAD A LOT OF FUN, EVEN IF IT WAS HARD TO GET ALL THOSE CITY PERMITS. I ASKED FOR DANCING, THEY WERE IMAGINING I WANTED POLE DANCERS. IT WAS HOLLYWOOD: NOBODY COULD IMAGINE ANYTHING ELSE. AT A POINT, THERE WAS OPPOSITION HERE AND THERE. THEN I DECIDED WE WERE GOING WITH A CHEF WHO GAVE COOKING CLASS TO THE SCHOOL NEXT DOOR.

RICK: OH THAT’S WHAT YOU TOLD THEM – NOW I REMEMBER. YOU WERE GOING TO DO CIVIC SERVICE.

MICHÈLE: I HEARD THE MOST FUNNY THING, NOT FROM THE KIDS BUT FROM THE TEACHER. I SAID WE WERE GOING TO SERVE A SIMPLE SALAD AND SAUCE AND THE TEACHER SAID, ‘I DIDN’T KNOW YOU COULD MAKE YOUR OWN SAUCE’. SHE THOUGHT THERE WAS JUST A TAP SOMEWHERE IN A FACTORY.

CHARLIE: WHAT WAS THE FOOD LIKE?

MICHÈLE: WE DEVELOPED A STORY WITH THE FARMERS. CAFÉ DES ARTISTES HAD A REALLY SMALL KITCHEN, SO THERE WAS NOT MUCH WE COULD DO. THEN I MET THIS BEAUTIFUL CHEF DAVID WYNNS, AND HE TURNED ME ON TO MFK FISCHER. MICHAEL: MFK FISHER’S BOOKS? OH SHE’S GREAT. RICK: HE TURNED US ALL ON TO HER.

MICHAEL: MFK FISCHER WAS A FABULOUSLY SENSUOUS WRITER ABOUT FOOD, ENTWINING MENUS WITH HER PERSONAL LIFE.

RICK: SHE’S LIKE A COLETTE FOR FOOD.

MICHÈLE: SO THAT’S HOW WE STARTED TO DEVELOP IT. I HAVE A PAST ON MY MOTHER’S SIDE OF PEOPLE WHO HAVE BEEN IN THE RESTAURANT BUSINESS. THEY HAD THEIR OWN FARMS, AND ALL THESE RULES LIKE YOU CANNOT EAT PEAS AFTER THE 14TH OF JULY BECAUSE THEY’RE ONLY TENDER TILL THE 14TH.AT THE TIME THERE WERE A LOT OF CLEVER PEOPLE IN CALIFORNIA WHO WERE STARTING TO BE FARMERS, SO WE WENT OVERBOARD. YOU COULDN’T HAVE RED TOMATOES BECAUSE THAT WAS NOT CHIC ENOUGH. WE WANTED HEIRLOOM TOMATOES THAT WERE PURPLE AND YELLOW. THE FARMERS THOUGHT IT WAS SO MUCH FUN AT LES DEUX, THEY STARTED COMING AT 11 AT NIGHT, BECAUSE ANYWAY THE MARKET WAS AT 5AM.

EVERYONE CAME. WE HAD ACTORS, PERFORMERS, THEN WE HAD DIRECTORS, AND THE MOVIE SCENE. THEY COULD MAKE THEIR ENTRANCE ON A PRIVATE PARKING LOT, SO THERE WERE NO PAPARAZZI. AND INSIDE THERE WERE NO PHOTOS. THERE WERE NO PHONES THEN, WE HAD THOSE BIG CELL PHONES. SO THERE ARE VERY FEW PICTURES [AND HERE THE CONVERSATION TURNS TO GOSSIP, INCLUDING MUCH TALK OF FAKE CLITORAL PIERCINGS].

MICHAEL: THE FUNNY THING ABOUT LES DEUX WAS THAT IT NEVER SEEMED TO BE QUITE FINISHED. IT ALWAYS WAS LIKE A WORK IN PROGRESS, MORPHING, CHANGING, BEING SOMETHING DIFFERENT AND MICHÈLE WAS THERE EVERY NIGHT. IT WASN’T SET OR FIXED IN SOME MOULD.

MICHÈLE: THAT WAS PART OF THE THEATRE. PEOPLE WERE VERY CREATIVE IN HOLLYWOOD, EVEN IF THEY WERE MAKING MOVIES YOU DIDN’T LIKE. THEY WERE PEOPLE WHO PUT SO MUCH IMPORTANCE ON TELLING A STORY. IT WAS FUN FOR ME TO HEAR ALL THESE DIFFERENT STORIES FROM THESE DIFFERENT PEOPLE. IT WAS LIKE I HAD THIS WHOLE WORLD AROUND ME. AND PEOPLE HAD A FEELING FOR LES DEUX. THEY WOULD COME TO ME AND SAY, ‘I’M GOING ON LOCATION, SO YOU’RE NOT GOING TO SEE ME FOR THREE MONTHS. IT’S NOT BECAUSE I’M NOT COMING TO LES DEUX, IT’S BECAUSE I’M NOT HERE’. I THOUGHT THAT WAS VERY COOL. IT WAS LIKE WE WERE IN A STORY BUT WE DID NOT KNOW WHAT IT WAS.

MICHAEL: THE THING ABOUT MICHÈLE IS THAT WHEREVER SHE IS, PEOPLE HAVE A GOOD TIME.

CHARLIE: HOW OFTEN DID YOU GO TO LES DEUX?

LISA: PRETTY OFTEN. A COUPLE OF TIMES A MONTH. MICHAEL: IT WAS THE SENSE OF THE PLACE, THE VIBE THAT EVERYONE’S GOING TO HAVE FUN TONIGHT. THERE JUST WAS A SENSE THAT THIS WAS A NICE PLACE TO BE WITH PEOPLE WE MIGHT KNOW.

MICHÈLE: WE REALLY HAD A LOT OF FUN THERE.

LISA: BUT ALSO BECAUSE YOU WERE ALWAYS THERE, MICHÈLE.

MICHÈLE: THERE WERE ALL THESE STORIES. ONE TIME I FOUND THIS GUY WHO DID AN ACT WITH A CHAINSAW. THE ALARM CAME ON BUT WE DIDN’T HEAR IT BECAUSE WE HAD THE CHAINSAW, THE MUSIC. THE FIREMEN ARRIVED. I SAID ‘I’M SO SORRY’. THEY SAID, ‘IT’S FRIDAY NIGHT, WHERE ELSE DO YOU THINK WE WANT TO BE?’.

MICHAEL: WHAT MADE YOU MOVE TO PARIS?

RICK: I STARTED TO MANUFACTURE IN ITALY, SO I HAD TO COME HERE A LOT ANYWAY. IT WAS AN EXCITING NEW ADVENTURE.

MICHÈLE: AND HE DIDN’T WANT TO SHOW IN NEW YORK.

RICK: THERE WAS ALSO REVILLON [THE FUR HOUSE OF WHICH RICK WAS CREATIVE DIRECTOR]. I DIDN’T REALISE HOW WORKING FOR A FRENCH HOUSE VALIDATED YOU AS A DESIGNER. PEOPLE TALK TO YOU DIFFERENTLY AND THAT WAS AN ADDED PLUS.

MICHAEL: AND YOU CONTINUE TO DO YOUR WORK BECAUSE YOU ENJOY IT.

RICK: EVERY ONCE IN A WHILE I HAVE TO KEEP REMINDING MYSELF. I HAVE TO STOP TRYING TO THINK RESPONSIBLY AND JUST HAVE FUN.

FRANCES VON HOFMANNSTHAL: I CAN’T BELIEVE WE’RE ALL HAVING DINNER HERE TONIGHT BECAUSE YOUR SHOW TODAY WAS JUST SO INCREDIBLE AND SUCH A MASSIVE MOMENT. I DON’T KNOW HOW YOU’RE STANDING!

RICK: A FRIEND DID ONCE SAY IT’S LIKE YOU’RE HAVING A WEDDING FOUR TIMES A YEAR. AND IT IS.

MICHAEL: TODAY WAS EXTRAORDINARY. I HAVE NOTHING TO COMPARE IT TO. [RICK’S SHOW HAD BEEN A STUDY IN DRAPING, AND EXPANSIVENESS OF CLOTH. TOPS CAME DRAPED OVER THE SHOULDERS AS IF A WORK OF COUTURE, BEFORE FALLING DOWN LIKE THE KNOTTED ARMS OF A SWEATSHIRT; THE FABRIC OF OVERSIZED PANTS ROSE UP OVER AND ABOVE THE WAIST; LITTLE LEATHER JACKETS WERE CROPPED AT THE WAIST, WHILE TUXEDOS CAME EITHER CROPPED WITH LONG SLEEVES OR WITH A LONG-EXTENDED BODY. THAT'S JUST A SNAPSHOT OF IT ALL – THERE WAS SO MUCH ELSE]. THE INTERESTING THING IS THAT, BECAUSE OF MY AGE AND BODY TYPE, I PROBABLY WOULDN’T…

LISA: ACTUALLY YOU WOULD WEAR THEM AND YOU’D LOOK REALLY GOOD IN THEM.

MICHAEL: I LOVE THE LITTLE ZIP-UP JACKETS.

RICK: ALL OF THAT STUFF IS EXAGGERATED VERSIONS. IT’S THE MOST EXTREME VERSION OF WHAT WE HAVE. I TOTALLY SEE YOU IN SOME OF THOSE SILK GAZAR PANTS AND A ZIP-FRONT JACKET.

LISA: HE WEARS A SKIRT AT HOME A LOT.

MICHAEL: I WEAR A SARONG AT HOME IN LA SOME-TIMES BECAUSE IT’S HOT. BUT THERE WAS ONE LOOK NEAR THE END. IT WAS LIKE SOMEONE WAS DOWN ON HIS LUCK A BIT, HE HAD DARK FABRIC AROUND HIS BODY, AND I THOUGHT, HE IS EVERYMAN. NOW YOU’RE SAYING, WHAT THE FUCK IS HE TALKING ABOUT?! BUT IF WE GO INTO THE FUTURE, WILL YOU BE WEARING ANDERSON & SHEPHERD SUITS, OR WILL YOU BE WEARING SOMETHING THAT COVERS YOUR BODY AND WHICH HAS A REMEMBRANCE OF THE PAST, OF WHAT CLOTHES WERE? I REALLY FELT THAT.

[THE CONVERSATION GOES OFF THE RECORD AS THE WORK OF OTHER DESIGNERS IS DISCUSSED. WE RETURN JUST AS SOMEONE HAS ASKED RICK IF TODAY’S COLLECTION HAD BEEN ABOUT DECONSTRUCTION].

RICK: THEY WERE VERY COLLAPSING. I DON’T KNOW WHAT THEY ARE. THEY’RE NOT THAT DECONSTRUCTED, BECAUSE DECONSTRUCTED WOULD MEAN IT WOULD BE ABOUT ANALYSING THE INSIDES. IT MEANS THAT YOU’RE TALKING ABOUT CONSTRUCTION. IT WASN’T TALKING ABOUT CONSTRUCTION ITSELF. IT’S ALL VERY CALCULATED. IT’S NOT CHANCE, THAT’S FOR SURE. BUT IT’S LIKE YOUR DRAWINGS, MICHAEL, YOU WANT IT TO LOOK EFFORTLESS AND BREEZY.

MICHAEL: I THOUGHT IT WAS THRILLING. WHEN YOU’RE WORKING ON THE COLLECTION, DO YOU THINK, I WANT TO THRILL PEOPLE, OR DO YOU THINK I JUST WANT TO DO WHAT WILL INTEREST ME IN TERMS OF SHAPE, FABRIC AND VOLUME?

RICK: I’M JUST THINKING THIS HAS TO MAKE SENSE, AND I HAVE TO LIKE IT AND IT HAS TO FEEL LIKE IT'S THE RIGHT THING TO SAY. I DON’T THINK ABOUT THE RESPONSE MUCH, I HONESTLY DON’T. A DAY LIKE TODAY, I’M KIND OF OVER IT. ALL THE EMOTION I FELT ABOUT THE IDEAS, I ALREADY PEAKED LIKE A MONTH AGO BECAUSE I WAS WORKING ON IT THEN.

MICHAEL: AND YOU DON’T WANT TO SEE THAT MOVIE AGAIN.

RICK: IT’S NOT THAT, I STILL LIKE IT, I’M STILL HAPPY WITH IT. BUT THAT SPARK, THAT FEELING THAT THIS IS RIGHT AND IT’S COMING TOGETHER, I DID THAT BY MYSELF. AND THAT WAS A MONTH AGO. NOW I PRESENT IT AND I HOPE YOU GUYS LIKE IT, BUT I CAN’T GET AS EXCITED, I CAN’T JOIN YOU IN THE PEAK BECAUSE I ALREADY PEAKED, WHICH IS A FUNNY LITTLE THING.

MICHAEL: DO YOU DRAPE ON MANNEQUINS OR ON PEOPLE?

RICK: ON MANNEQUINS FIRST AND THEN PEOPLE. I CAN’T DRAPE FAST ENOUGH. IT MAKES ME NERVOUS, HAVING A MODEL STANDING THERE WAITING FOR ME TO DO STUFF.

MICHAEL: DO YOU DRAW FIRST?

RICK: NOT REALLY. I TAKE PICTURES OF TOILES AND THEN I CUT THEM UP TO SEE DIFFERENT PROPORTIONS. I HAVE SOME BASIC SHAPES FROM WHICH I MAKE TOILES. I SAY THAT I NEED 7504 AND 7506 AND THEY QUICKLY MAKE A LITTLE TOILE OUT OF MUSLIN AND THEN I PLAY WITH THAT ON THE MANNEQUIN.

CHARLIE: MICHÈLE, CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT YOUR BARGE PROJECTS?

MICHÈLE: SO I FOUND THIS FANTASTIC 24-YEAR-OLD FROM CONGO, DIEUVEIL MALONGA. WHEN HE WAS 14 HIS PARENTS WERE KILLED DURING THE WAR. A GERMAN PASTOR TOOK HIM IN AND PUT HIM IN A COOKING SCHOOL IN GERMANY BUT FROM THERE HE DEVELOPED HIS OWN THING AND NOW HE COOKS WITH US. WE DID THE FIRST BARGE AT THE VENICE BIENNALE. THERE IS FOOD, A RECORDING STUDIO. IT'S THE CONCEPT HAT YOU CAN BUILD THINGS. IT TOOK A LOT OF THINKING, YOU CAN PUT IT UP IN ON DAY, YOU CAN TAKE IT DOWN IN HALF A DAY.

RICK: IT REALLY IS A BARGE. YOU SHOULD HAVE BEEN THERE, MICHAEL. WHEN YOU’RE IN THE BARGE, MICHÈLE HAD BUILT THESE WALLS AROUND IT, THERE WAS A PLANTER THING IN THE MIDDLE, IT WAS EXACTLY LIKE BEING IN LES DEUX.

MICHAEL: WELL I WILL BE IN VENICE ANYTIME ANYONE SAYS. SOME OF BRIDESHEAD REVISITED WAS SHOT IN VENICE.

RICK: YOU KNOW I’VE BEEN WATCHING THAT AGAIN RECENTLY, I WATCH IT WITH THE SOUND OFF WHEN I’M TAKING A SHOWER, WITH NINA SIMONE PLAYING. BUT MICHÈLE, IT’S IMPORTANT TO YOU THAT IT WAS IN MOTION, OR IN TRANSITION.

MICHÈLE: AND I WANT TO BE SURPRISED BY WHAT IS COMING.

RICK: YOU RESIST RESOLUTION. YOU WANT TO MAINTAIN THAT SUSPENSE I THINK.

MICHÈLE: BUT THERE IS ALWAYS A RESOLUTION.

MICHAEL: DO YOU LIKE THE RESOLUTION OR DO YOU NEVER WANT THINGS TO BE FINISHED?

MICHÈLE: WHEN I AM IN ONE BARGE, I’M ALREADY IN THE NEXT ONE. I DON’T WANT THE TIME TO STOP, AND I KNOW IT CAN NEVER BE THE SAME, SO THEN YOU TRY AND INVENT NEW THINGS.

[IT IS GETTING LATE. LISA AND MICHAEL HAVE TO PACK BEFORE THEIR RETURN TO THE US. TALK ABOUT THINGS THAT ARE NEW AND HOPEFUL SEEMS LIKE A GOOD PLACE TO END. EVERYONE RAISES THEIR GLASSES, TO THE CHEF, TO RICK, TO MICHÈLE].

ALL: THANK YOU SO MUCH! BRAVO!