Rick Owens | Making His Own Bed
Design, Women's Fashion
| By ALIX BROWNE | May 5, 2010, 3:34 pm
Courtesy Rick Owens
The Paris-based fashion designer Rick Owens claims he fell into designing furniture simply because he needed something to sit on. And truth be told, the Art Deco and Robert Mallet-Stevens pieces he coveted were too big for his budget — and too polite in scale for the former French Socialist Party Headquarters that he now calls his home and office. “Like a typical American, I over-sized everything,” says Owens, a Los Angeles transplant. And he’s not kidding.
“Pavane for a Dead Princess,” the first U.S. exhibition of his furniture designs, opens this weekend at Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn’s Salon 94 and includes a bed, modeled on his own, in alabaster and marble, and a matching daybed. Combined weight: two tons. As of Tuesday afternoon, Owens had yet to see the bed assembled and was busy trawling for nuts and bolts that his team of Parisian sculptors assumed they could pick up upon arrival in New York. Never mind how the furniture was going to make it up the stairs. “I think I was inspired by the space,” Owens said of Rohatyn’s Upper Eastside gallery, which is in her townhouse. “It seemed like the perfect place for alabaster.”
Like Owens’s clothing, the furniture manages to be simultaneously brutal and elegant. Or as he puts it, “the bed is part Sleeping Beauty’s glass coffin and part Christ’s open tomb by way of Donald Judd and Richard Serra.” Dreamy. And moonlighting as a furniture designer has had other domestic benefits: it has allowed him to forge a new connection with his longtime partner Michele Lamy. “It’s tricky for us to do business together,” Owens says. “I’m pragmatic and impatient and she’s good at cultivating and nurturing the artisans. Imagine a gypsy and a fascist trying to organize a war together. It just doesn’t work. But this has been our most successful collaboration. Some beautiful things have come out of it.”
“Pavane for a Dead Princess” runs through June 25.
Rick Owens | Making His Own Bed - T Magazine Blog - NYTimes.com