L.A.’s fashion son is coming home for the first time in 16 years.
Rick Owens, who got his start in Los Angeles in 1994, is returning Nov. 18. He will be at his store from 7 to 10 p.m. signing copies of his two new Rizzoli books, “Legaspi by Rick Owens” (about the Seventies-era New York designer who created costumes for Grace Jones, Funkadelic and most notably Kiss, and had a formative influence on young Rick) and “Rick Owens Photographed by Danielle Levitt” (featuring 150 photographs of his grunge-glam work).
The by-invitation-only event will be held in the 5,200-square-foot boutique he opened in 2015 at 819 North La Brea, just down the street from the Plaza, a drag bar where he spent many a late night, including one when he met “a shriveled little man” on the dance floor who turned out to be his hero Iggy Pop.
“My goal was to create something Cecil B. DeMille-worthy,” said Owens at the time of the store opening. “Epic, biblical movies were the first idea of exoticism I could cling to when I was growing up and have influenced everything I do — doomed heroic purity in black and gray-draped robes in huge, dusty, marble temples. This store is as close as I might ever get to re-creating that.”
Owens grew up in Porterville, Calif., just north of Bakersfield, and studied art and design in L.A. In the Nineties, his design studio sat across the street from Hollywood hot spot Les Deux Cafes, which was run by Michele Lamy, now Owens’ wife. He moved the business to Paris in 2003 to be closer to his Italian manufacturers, but has continued to draw on L.A. as inspiration, including Frank Lloyd Wright’s Mayan Revival Hollyhock House, grungy Hollywood Boulevard and Gloria Swanson in “Sunset Boulevard.”
Of his spring women’s collection, inspired by his Mixtec heritage, Owens told WWD: “I do think East L.A. lowrider [guys] have been a big thing with me forever — those low-crotched baggy things, for example.…I mean, I worked at Taco Bell and I used to get rides home from them. There was a crispness in the way they ironed everything and an economy of doing the best with what you’ve got, elevating a T-shirt with ironing.…I’ve always had that kind of pageantry with my clothes, the stiffness, volume and dragging,” he mused.
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