Rick Owens and his wife Michèle Lamy held court on Tuesday evening on the first floor of the designer’s store in the Palais-Royal in Paris, where they signed copies of “Rick Owens: Furniture,” the coffee table book published by Rizzoli New York.
The pair’s banter provided an insight into the creative process behind the furniture design, which Owens conceives and Lamy executes. Just don’t call it a collaboration.
“He hates the word, he’s so nervous about it,” said Lamy, adding it was just a manner of speech.
Owens said it was hard to single out a particular creation. “I like it all, because when doing a book, I really enjoy the whole laying-out process and going through every little thing,” he said. “I mean, out of all the stuff that we’ve done, that’s an edit of all my favorite stuff, so I can’t even pick my favorite.”
The designer introduced his first furniture collection in Paris in 2007. The pieces — made of materials including marble, alabaster, bronze, leather, foam, rock crystal and concrete — were the subject of a recent show at the Museum of Contemporary Art, or MOCA, in Los Angeles.
“This book is a love story to me, in a way, even if at one point I thought he’s taking little bits of some interviews I gave to make me look a little more cuckoo than I am,” Lamy said. “But it’s fair, because I’m always the one with the big forklift, with the big eyes, finding stones on the side of the Earth and cutting them a certain way.”
“And I’m at home taking a nap. And then she calls me and says, ‘Hun, guess what I did today?’” Owens interjected. The designer has previously described the design process as a conversation between two opposite personality types — his “dictator” approach versus Lamy’s “magical fairy witch” style.
“I am sure that somewhere I’m a dictator, too, when it comes to work,” Lamy retorted. “I think I have the nose to find the right people to do things, but I’m more cutthroat if I find somebody better, let’s say, until I get the thing, because I will just go to the next. It’s like when you want to find a next lover. The other one cannot stay around, even if it was cool for the time.”