Style | Diary of a Somebody

Rick Owens

The fashion designer turns his attention to furniture and perfume

Rick Owens

March 31 2011
Rick Owens

Day: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Today I’m looking at cardboard models for new furniture pieces I’ll be showing in LA in December. I haven’t been back to LA in eight years. Not for any particular reason, just too busy and too far. And I’ve been there already.

Anyway, I either do life-size sketches and have a cardboard model built, or do smaller models to play with an idea. The ones today are small models working on the principal of the fewest geometric shapes slotting into each other to support a shape. The different elements will be made in bronze, stone and black lumber. I want something very elemental and primitive, but horribly, mercilessly modern. I’m thinking of pieces I would want to furnish a house by Luigi Moretti or Carlo Scarpa.

The furniture and fur businesses are my version of haute couture. It’s time-consuming, labour-intensive and rare. And it wouldn’t happen without the cultivation of “the hun”. I’m afraid I don’t have the patience to cajole results out of all the artisans it takes to create these pieces – the bronze foundry, the marble and alabaster atelier, the carpenter, the furrier…

She visits one atelier after another and I’ve seen these guys light up when she sweeps in, in the jewellery, veils and furs; she gives them magic, and they reciprocate.

But first, this morning I have to go to my store in the Palais Royal to test the scent diffuser that’s been installed. I’ve had a personal scent made and want to have it fill the shops, but frankly, everyone hates it but me. It has Easter lily, civet, eucalyptus and a mothball-like pungency. I admit it might be a little challenging.

The Paris store is the smallest, so the diffuser going through the air conditioning might be too intense and absorb into the clothes which might be a dirty trick once a client takes something home and wonders where that awful smell is coming from.

The scent idea is one I’ve been mulling over for a while. I like perfume. Scent is one of those mysteries of memory, allure and dreams that’s so tempting to harness, manipulate and possess. But perfume can be a big business that might take a label further than I’m willing to go right now. If it’s done with one of the larger fragrance companies, their distribution and promotion might be overly enthusiastic and a bit hard to restrain. Not that I need to lose sleep over it because no one’s asking me.

So I’m just producing it myself with a master perfumer in Paris whose work I’ve followed over the years. I have no deadline or boundaries and have gotten exactly what I want. It’s like sinking into a beautiful, dense, slightly unhealthy Gustave Moreau painting. Well, to me at least.

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