Tell me about the inflatable… boots is, I guess, the right word.
They’re just an affront to common good taste. They’re a protest, and they’re a protest against intolerance. Intolerance, the seed of war.
We’re seeing proportions in fashion grow to ludicrous size. And there’s something about that that is about mopping enforced standards of beauty.
The show notes described the proportions of the collection as grotesque and inhuman.
You play with exaggerated proportions and inflation frequently in your work, but why are you taking it to a more extreme level this season?
Because we’re living in barbaric times, and we need to make barbaric statements. But it’s not like it’s going to change. It’s not like I’m teaching any lessons. I’m just reflecting the frustration that I sense in the world.
Tell me a little bit more about your home and how it became the Rick Owens office.
This used to be our showroom, and people used to come buy the collection here. When we moved in, it had lowered, acoustical tile ceilings. It was inhospitable, so we ripped everything out and left it very raw. Our first seasons, everybody would come out of here covered in dust because the concrete was not sealed. So it was a very weird experience for this part of town. Then gradually, it became our offices, and I never used these rooms myself. These were always our showroom because I didn’t like facing the square.
It’s too urban for me, and there are no trees. The back overlooks the garden of the Ministry of the Defense, so it’s a huge garden in the back. It’s beautiful, and that’s the life that I wanted to have. I had to sacrifice high ceilings because my offices in the back have lower ceilings. I wonder what my life would be like if I had lived with high ceilings for the past 20 years. But who knows?
What’s your best guess?
I might’ve gotten more pompous. More pompous and more of a douche than I am now.
What was it like living and working in the same space? I mean, we all work from home now, but you had employees clocking into your house. I’m picturing you with an espresso, padding around in slippers or something.
I’ve always lived in my workspace. I’ve always done that because it all has to be the same thing. I don’t really socialize that much, but I think that’s part of why I was attracted to Michèle because Michèle could bring people into my life, and I didn’t have to go out. I could see the world through her culture. And then I could dip in and out. So they were clocking in, but I get up early. I have black and white movies playing while I’m taking my shower, listening to opera, and having my coffee. Opera or Julie London or Dusty Springfield these days.
Where do you go in Paris when you want to get out of the home and the office?
The Louvre. I cross the Seine, walk through the Jardin des Tuileries and go to the Louvre, and then I have lunch at Le Café Marly with friends a lot. There’s a church over here called the Basilique Sainte-Clotilde. I’m not religious, but I stop by there a lot because that’s where I used to go with my parents when they were alive, and that keeps me connected with them. It really feels like an extension of my house. It’s this huge gray, gothic space that I love being in. I go to the Musée Rodin. Museums and gardens, that’s the best thing that the city can offer.
Do you still eat at the burger place [Brasserie Bourbon] on the corner?
I do. I don’t eat burgers as much as I used to, but I stop over there before I go to the gym for a hot fudge sundae.
You have hot fudge sundaes before you go to the gym?
It feels to me like men’s fashion is in a moment of transition right now, with everyone fumbling for a narrative about what to do, how to respond to the moment we’re in. But your message is always so clear.
All I know is what I’m doing. I have no idea what’s happening out there. I don’t know what the men’s fashion zeitgeist is. I have no idea. I look at shows, though. I like looking at shows. I’m a fashion fan, but I don’t connect with it, I guess. But I enjoy watching it.
I didn’t know that you watched other shows.
Yeah, I’m a fashion fan. I like fashion, so I like seeing what people are doing. And also, I’m sure that I’m absorbing some information like, “This is happening a lot. Let’s not go in that direction,” that kind of thing or things to avoid. There are elements of conspicuous consumption that I’m seeing that are like, “Wow, things really to avoid.”
Oh, yeah. I saw that. I don’t know what makes America so appealing right now. Is now really its most shining moment that everybody wants to admire? I don’t know.
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