RICK OWENS’ S
STANDARDS OF BEAUTY
Set in a curving gallery that skirts the edge of Milan’s Triennale Design Museum the retrospective charts the last 20 years of the California-born designer’s genre-smashing clothing and furniture design. Described as a personal narrative, Owens has curated a selection of garments, accessories, furniture, graphics and publications that chart the ebbs and flows — both intimate and professional — of his prolific career. “I wanted to take what a dismissive world might mock and create something fine, empathetic, kind, and inclusive,” says Owens, referring to his work and also anticipating two of his great traits: mental freedom and innovation.
In addition to his role in fashion, which was recently celebrated with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Council of Fashion Designers of America in 2017, Rick Owens is among the most radical and acclaimed authors—even beyond the common definition of fashion designer—due his persistent, innovative, and challenging work with forms and materials.
His work became famous not only for the qualities of his clothes but also for the storytelling built around them, using transversal languages and expressive forms to embody a personal and courageous vision that has anticipated many of most debated themes in fashion nowadays, such as gender fluidity, oversizing, and brutal chic aesthetics. With his memorable fashion shows, Rick Owens has also imposed an idea of body and beauty very far from the static and conservative ideals portrayed on catwalks and fashion magazines, expanding the idea of humanity to unpredictable and sometimes outrageous visions, as the title of the exhibition suggests. “It’s an attractively robotic term that references the self-doubts, highs, lows, and self-delusions we all forgive ourselves for every day” the designer explains.
The most touching aspect of the exhibition is the personal ephemera from the designer’s life, intertwined with his wife and muse, Michele Lamy, who met Owens in the ’90s when she was the owner of Hollywood hangout Les Deux.
Born in California he currently lives in Paris. He launched his eponymous line in 1994 out of a raw storefront on Hollywood Boulevard. He, therefore, caught the attention of the fashion world for his “glunge” style. He is known as the preferred designer of the glamorous and goth, with devotees such as Michelle Obama and Justin Bieber.
The exhibition will be open to public until March 25, 2018.
Triennale di Milano
Viale Emilio Alemagna, 6.
Courtesy or Rick Owens
In the Spirit