To celebrate the opening of his new stand-alone shop on On Lan Street, Hong Kong, Rick Owens looked back over his 20-year career with Joyce.
Hailing from Los Angeles, Owens relocated to Paris in 2003. Since then, he has been living, working and showing his collections in Paris.
“I still don’t speak French.”
He spoke to Joyce with a hint of dry wit, while sitting in a wooden chair, of his design, at home. The interior of his house in the 7th arrondisment is the epitome of the Rick Owens’ world: stark concrete staircase, tribal head sculptures, and the almost-oppressive hardwood furniture.
“Everything needs to be personal, from the collections to the shows and to my shops, they represent my whole history and are all part of my universe.”
The Rick Owens aesthetics are grungy yet poetic and subversive: distressed leather and delicate jerseys in a muted colour palette which consist of mainly black, “dust” and “pearls”, have earned him a cult-following. The Rick Owens guys and ladies are not into fashion, but more immersion into his universe. Throughout the past two decades, Owens has been drawing inspiration from people and movements, including the Egyptian slaves of the past, popes and skaters; he explained,
“I like to put historical icons altogether in opposition.”
The oversized washed leather tunics and robes seen in the 2015 spring summer menswear collection exude an exaggerated form of regalness. As for the womenswear collection, Owens took a bold and surprising step by using tulle in sculpture -like dresses with folds and pleats.
“I was looking at the 30s and wanted to reinterpret the languid silhouette through a distressed yet softened way.”
In recent years, Owen’s shows have metamorphosed into a progressively theatrical form. First there was the epic light show, the cascading foam was next; then came the steps team from the States who replaced the usual catwalk models, which caused a stampede, literally.
“I like the idea of adding something thrilling and extravagant to the show, not just as a backdrop. Almost like invading the audience, almost a bit dangerous.”
The “genital bearing dress” featured in his latest 2015 autumn winter men's collection created yet another talking point during fashion week. It seems like nothing is too bold or dangerous to him. He then paused and said,
“I probably wouldn’t consider a facial surgery…”
Address: Shop 2A, G/F, 18 On Lan Street, Central
Tel: 2285 9061
Business hours: 11:00 – 20:00
Interview by Lucienne Leung-Davies
Photo by Filep Motwary
Video by the Stimuleye