29 August 2016

The Wise Words of Rick Owens

The adjectives used to describe the aesthetic of the cult Californian designer range from the unimaginative and quite frankly obvious choices of “gothic” and “dark”, to the more colourful “glunge” - a combination of glamour and grunge, as conceptualised by the man himself. Rick Owens was hailed as “fashion’s most imitated designer” by the New York Times with his iconic leather jackets and asymmetrical t-shirts ripped off by the lagging high street and reinvented by his high-fashion colleagues in high-fashion places. His garments may hold a modest, monochromatic allure but his exceedingly eccentric existence is evidenced through his campaign imagery, catwalk performances and most importantly, his words.

“I used to hang out at the river with my friends, wearing cut-off Levi's and listening to Lynyrd Skynyrd and Led Zeppelin, smoking pot and drinking beer. At the same time, I was discovering French Vogue, Claude Montana and Thierry Mugler.”

“I fundamentally think you have to know the rules to know how to break them.”

“The coolest thing is when you don’t care about being cool anymore.”

“I don't understand how people live with so much stuff around them, because you can't focus on it, and after a while, it ends up becoming absorbed. It's not as if anything's really being appreciated. To me, all that stuff is some desperate message to everyone about who you are, like bumper stickers.”

“Every jacket I make has interior pockets big enough to store a book and a sandwich and a passport.”

“Being an artist is like waiting for a boner to happen. It's hard.”

“I love the idea of spirituality... It's like the ethereal quest to feel like you've gotten to a certain point, which is the prize.”

“I would lay a black glittering turd on the white landscape of conformity.”

“I hate miniskirts. I haven't said it enough.”

“Everybody wants to be heroic, it's impossible, but we make the effort anyway. There's something so wonderful about making the effort.”

“It's dirty chic, it's totally messed up, so you don't have to worry about messing it up yourself - I mess it up for you. All this wonderful cashmere is already fucked up on your behalf,”

“I'm not trying to be provocative. I'm trying to be sensible on what seems modern, what seems normal and appropriate for the period we've reached in history.”

“I'm not a careful dieter at all. I'm a mess. I have hot fudge sundaes every night.”

“The times that I've made mistakes were when I forgot and I started taking it all too seriously and thinking about response and what I was 'supposed' to do, that's when I fucked up.”

“The ideas are all kind of there... I've just got to rediscover them or I have to uncover them; it's more about uncovering than discovering sometimes.”

“I don't know if art can be elevated to the level of fashion.”

“If I had to run outside for even half a mile, I'd drop dead in a pool of my own vomit.”

“I'm in pants right now because the last time we were in Claridges, I wore shorts, and the wouldn't let me in!”

“I thought I'd better do something I could make money off of, 'cause them Diptyque candles don't grow on trees.”

“I almost cried the other day listening to ‘Vogue’ by Madonna.”