March 5, 2024

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Rick Owens: Fashion’s ultimate antagonist

Prepared by Nick Remsen, CNN

CNN Design is a single of the formal media companions of Paris Manner Week. See all protection below.

Paris-based designer Rick Owens has been termed many things in his extended career. An antihero, a goth, fashion’s “prince of darkness.” He’s been labeled as these kinds of mainly because of his proclivity for a mainly noir, gray and ice-hued oeuvre, his deployment of pentagram motifs on underwear or elk antlers on home furniture, and an overall aesthetic that is — and he’d agree with this — rapturously anti-establishment.

“I get it, I suggest, it’s straightforward to categorize anyone. I summarize factors promptly, also. I suppose becoming known as goth is just not the worst factor,” he claims through a sit down job interview atop the Palais de Tokyo, two days just before the revealing of his Spring-Summer time 2022 selection at Paris Style 7 days. “It really is like this: There is certainly Disney World, where you can go to come across a little something incredibly clean up and that denies the discomforts and horrors that really exist in lifetime. And you will find the non-Disney World, where by you can expect to locate any person like me, who acknowledges and tries to determine out how to accept those matters and how to handle these items. When you acknowledge it, when you deal with mortality, when you offer with threat, then, yeah, it is really dim in comparison to Disney. I am wonderful with it.”

Michèle Lamy and Rick Owens attend the Gareth Pugh show as part of the Paris Fashion Week Womenswear in 2014.

Michèle Lamy and Rick Owens show up at the Gareth Pugh display as element of the Paris Trend 7 days Womenswear in 2014. Credit rating: Michel Dufour/WireImage/Getty Images

Owens, who is 50 {cfdf3f5372635aeb15fd3e2aecc7cb5d7150695e02bd72e0a44f1581164ad809} American and fifty percent Mexican (his mother is from Puebla, just a number of several hours outside of Mexico Metropolis), was born and elevated in Porterville, California, ahead of launching his namesake line in Los Angeles in 1994. He relocated to Paris in 2003 with his spouse Michèle Lamy, and now life in between the French cash and Venice, Italy’s Lido, where by he retains a penthouse flat that overlooks the sea (and where by, for the duration of the Covid-19 pandemic, he staged and filmed personal runway displays Thursday’s Paris catwalk marked his return to the city soon after a calendar year and a 50 percent).
His label, which continues to be majority owned by him and Lamy, is a good results story — to the tune of hundreds of millions of bucks in income for each 12 months, many thanks to his principal collection, his diffusion strains, a furniture collection, brand partnerships and much more. He has been given quite a few accolades, such as a Life span Accomplishment Award by the Council of Vogue Designers of The united states, and is an industry darling despite remaining, to lots of, a little bit of a dark horse. He’s also turn into more and additional of a superstar favourite, beloved by stars this kind of as Lil Uzi Vert, Kim Kardashian, Rihanna, and Timothée Chalamet, who layered Rick Owens into his modern Met Gala glance.

Men and women want to think about that everything’s heading to be fine, and that we’ve acquired it all under handle.

Rick Owens

Higher than all, Owens, who turns 60 in November, could be among the the most unfiltered designers operating now — it is really a trait which is scarce, in particular when many luxury makes tumble under greatly patrolled company acceptance processes and basic safety stops. His honesty is refreshing: “I like bombast, still you can find been anger all alongside. I grew up in such a conservative, judgy city, and it filled me with so much rage,” suggests Owens. “I am continue to working on that rage. This is my revenge. I am still vengeful. I’m still a vengeful Scorpio.”

During Paris Fashion Week in 2019, Owens' show at the Palais de Tokyo blended harmoniously with a fortuitous on-site exhibition by sculptor Thomas Houseago.

During Paris Vogue Week in 2019, Owens’ clearly show at the Palais de Tokyo blended harmoniously with a fortuitous on-web-site exhibition by sculptor Thomas Houseago. Credit: Victor Virgile/Gamma-Rapho/Getty Illustrations or photos

Owens’ merchandise is ultra luxurious, but it won’t adhere to the confines of stereotypical and mass-peddled opulence. Blistered leathers, exotic skins, tape-slender cashmere knits, overwashed denim, and a little bit of roughened glamour, this kind of as with injections of sequins or foils, have all performed a position in defining his singular structure vernacular. His styles and silhouettes are outsized, clingy, languid, and, frankly, captivating. It all congeals to form a thing futuristic and deeply primal in tandem. Neanderthal to alien, and still surprisingly very well-suited for the modern era.

“What I usually test to do is deliver auteurship to my get the job done,” he states. “The simple fact is, all of my daily life, I have tried out to present a little something that is an alternate to a pretty rigid aesthetic that we see in this globe. We are anticipated to adhere to it, but I consider to blur the lines. And not in a militant way, but in a way that is stating, ‘I propose this as an different to the expectations you are employed to.’ I imagine with self-assurance and a selected total of flair and boldness, we have set up our have form of splendor. A smarter magnificence.”

Owens’ balanced solution — that vogue can prosper as a tug-o-war concerning gloom and joy — is also reflected in his keep track of history of each controversy and genuinely good strokes.

Step teams from US sororities were hired by Owens in 2013 to model his Spring-Summer 2014 collection.

Stage groups from US sororities were employed by Owens in 2013 to design his Spring-Summer 2014 assortment. Credit history: Catwalking/Getty Images

Regarding the previous, in June, 2015, a design going for walks in an Owens’ clearly show held up a sign that examine “Please Eliminate Angela Merkel Not.” There was some speculation as to irrespective of whether it was an inside of career, a violent stunt to drum up publicity (Owens denies any prior information of it).

With the latter, there are two standouts in specific. Just one dates to September, 2013, when Owens employed stage teams from American sororities alternatively of common products to current his Spring-Summer 2014 collection. The exhibit was a sensation, and, it can be really worth noting, it occurred years prior to the fashion industry’s procedure-broad push for greater racial diversity and measurement inclusivity.

The new Spring-Summer 2022 Rick Owens collection debuted September 30 at Paris Fashion Week 2021.

The new Spring-Summer time 2022 Rick Owens assortment debuted September 30 at Paris Trend 7 days 2021. Credit history: Estrop/Getty

The other will involve a different runway present, this time in 2019. Owens has a record of presenting at the Palais de Tokyo, and the massive sizing of the area often requires artistic place-filling.

That summer months, there was an on-web site exhibition of operate by the artist and sculptor Thomas Houseago. One such piece was mounted smack in the middle of Owens’ set. The designer extrapolated off of the idea, and imported clay from Houseago’s Los Angeles studio, mixing it with Parisian mud, and such as it as aspect of the staging. Most importantly, it failed to go to waste: “It’s clay that arrived from Los Angeles that was in a Rick Owens show that ended up at the Louvre, being utilized by pupils in their very own creative imagination,” claims Owens. “And I just beloved that. I thought that was a fantastic solution to [the excesses of runway shows.]”

A line of models walk the runway during the Rick Owens fashion show at Paris Fashion Week 2021.

A line of models wander the runway for the duration of the Rick Owens manner exhibit at Paris Manner Week 2021. Credit: Estrop/Getty

Spring-Summer months 2022, titled ‘Fogachine’, showcased an array of Owens signatures standout seems to be provided a dip-dyed elongated sheer leading around a hardly-there human body match and splint-like python boots, as effectively as a billowing, practically caftan-like, tulle gown embroidered with iridescent raven feathers. In general, the collection reverberated with self-assurance and a sort of elegant-still-menacing energy it was a charged-up homecoming, of kinds, but Owens does not assign way too lots of distinct emotions to his function.

Plus, as generally, he wrestles with the larger inquiries: “[With shows coming back after the pandemic], everyone is likely to want to flex. Anyone is likely to want to clearly show that they are more robust than at any time, that they are more potent than ever. It is really a minor horrifying, but I get it. So which is where my head is correct now. I am considering, no one would like to see humility. Nobody needs to see a humble lesson. Folks want to see that we are back again to whole ability.” Then, smiling mischievously, he concludes: “Folks want to imagine that everything’s heading to be fantastic, and that we have got it all below handle.”

Major impression: Rick Owens at his Menswear Fall/Winter season 2020-2021 demonstrate at Paris Vogue 7 days in 2020.