Saturday, 23 January 2010

The Glunge Story: Rick Owens explained


I have been trying to put the whole Rick Owens and Michele Lamy thing into words - but words fail me really. So I found this great article which was published in the New York Times about 2 years ago, and  by CINTRA WILSON. It really sums things up nicely.It also seems that everyone is having encounters with Michele via a cafe (see previous post).


“SO, I was at Les Deux Caf├ęs in Los Angeles a few years ago,” enthused Nancy, who wears Rick Owens as often as possible, and was telling me why. “I was sitting by the door in a halter top, shivering a little. And this drop-dead fabulous older woman comes in: tiny-skinny, smoking; wild, black witchy-woman hair; wearing this very clingy Morticia-Addams-meets-Ginger-Rogers look, with her skirt dragging on the floor. Gobs of big wonderful rings. She looks at me and asks in her French accent,

‘Are you cold?’ And she rips this absolutely incredible leather jacket off her body and throws it around my shoulders.”




“Wow.”

“Then she sashays away, looks at me over her shoulder, wags her finger and says, ‘Don’t forget, on your way out!’ ”
“Did she instantly become your role model for life?”
“Completely.

So, she turns out to be Michele Lamy, the owner of Les Deux. Everything she’s wearing is Rick Owens, because he’s her lover. She’s his muse. She’s significantly older, but he fell madly in love with her when he was a crazy twentysomething bisexual. I never wanted to take that jacket off!”


Rick Owens’s star began its vertical ascent as soon as Los Angeles stores began carrying his designs: drape-y, rough-looking creations in gorgeous materials, wrought into a style he has dubbed “glunge” (grunge plus glamour), which tends to give the wearer an appearance of emerging from the lips of a huge, slightly tattered flower.
His new boutique — big, white and stark — is, like a lot of Owens creations, still unfinished around the edges. But this blind spot has been turned into an advantage. If Mr. Owens were an architect, he would make beautiful ruins.
When I arrived at the shop, Nancy, in the spirit of Madame Lamy, was already swaddled in a long, lean sable coat, moaning with pleasure.
“How much is it?” she asked Antino Angel Crowley, one of Mr. Owens’s willowy, tattooed, beautiful employees. “It’s an apartment, right?”
“Basically,” Mr. Crowley replied. “It’s $65,000. Which isn’t bad, if you think about it.”
I tried it, and agreed: not bad. Actually, it was a poem.

“You wouldn’t need an apartment,” I said, half-joking. “This coat is like youth and sex and butter all at the same time. You could sleep on the sidewalk and you would never feel a lack. You wouldn’t even need love.” This coat might have humanized Leona Helmsley.

THE OWENS STORY
RICK OWENS designs are decidedly kinetic; the pieces are made to elongate lines of movement in three dimensions, whereas most clothing is spatially flat — conscious mainly in front and back, and best when standing still. The store employees, hanging around in these slouchy, body-conscious shapes, resemble a modern-dance company.

The mystique of Michele Lamy, a chanteuse with two gold front teeth, is evident all over, but especially in a shelf full of little vicious-looking rat monsters made from sable scraps.
“Those are stash bags,” Nancy whispered.
“How much?” Mr. Crowley asked Mr. Streng.
“They are five, I think.”
“Hundred?”
“Thousand.”
Formidable.


THERE is something both exhilarating and exhausting about super-hipness — its demands can inspire both admiration and a slightly desolate feeling. Hanging out on certain couches can seem as arduous as a camping trip.

The Owens-Lamy Paris home, the former headquarters of the French Socialist Party, was described by Paper magazine as “gargantuan” and “bunker-like.”
But the clothes, for all their Gothic fury, are deliriously feminine.
Mr. Owens has said he is inspired by Lou Reed’s music. This makes sense: crudely simple melodies sung in an unpretty voice, but suspended in the excruciating tension of an almost unbearably delicate softness and sensitivity.

This mood can create anxiety, like sitting under a lead-glass chandelier that would crash down if not for the brilliant efforts of a single heroic spider. But unsettling settings also inspire relaxed inhibitions, creating the possibility for sudden intimacies to occur between strangers.

Are you cold? Here!
The sable, mes amis, is on the inside.

This article was extracted from a story that was published in the NY Times in 2008, before Obama was in power and bush was another word for CXXX 

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