Interview for MATCHESFASHION.
An American fashion designer Rick Owens got interviewed by Rebecca Gonsalves for MATCHESFASHION. We summarised our favourite moments from the interview below and you can read the full interview here.
On his office
”This is where I’ll do planning and work on paper, then we’ll come together before a show and work on the collection, when it gets a bit more chaotic. I try to keep this room slightly empty – I love space, I need it to be able to think clearly. Sometimes I’ll have Julie London or Peggy Lee playing, or the opera singer Montserrat Caballé, or some Bach – something mellow.”
On what you would find on his desk
”There’s a skull that I bought on the internet years ago. It’s not meant to be creepy; I see it as a memento mori, a reminder to live and create while you can. It’s a primal urge, to leave something behind and live for ever in a certain way. I also keep a piece of gypsum crystal that I got on the side of the road in Morocco years ago. We used most of the crystal to make lamps for the sitting room – they look barbaric against the fanciness of the French boiserie. And there’s an abandoned bird’s nest, from the blackbird that returns to the climbing rose outside my window every year. I see these materials, organic matter, and I want to make something out of them. Everything that I do is about a collapse, or a disciplined control – it’s very primal.”
On designing new collections
”I’m always looking at the arc of my work and thinking about the next logical step. The fabric comes first: I usually start with 50 fabrics and edit them down to a dozen. Then I’ll work with black-and-white copies of archive looks, cutting up and manipulating them, or redrawing lines with a marker. I can plan a whole collection that way. I’ll ask my factory in Bologna to make toiles and, over one weekend, when there’s nobody else around, I’ll be in there working on them.”
”I don’t buy a lot; it takes me a long time to buy something. Then, it’s mainly Art Nouveau pieces, especially Finnish Art Nouveau. I also just bought some Josef Hoffmann side tables, which I think I’ll put in one of the apartments we own by the factory in Italy. It doesn’t have to be my own apartment – I know I can always get them back if I want to.”