"Hi Gary Numan, Rick Owens here contacting you with great respect. I’m a fashion designer in Paris and have a women’s runway show coming up February 27. The clothes have a vaguely gray bauhaus/Klaus Nomi vibe and i saw them walking to your song ‘Down In The Park’.
I realize this is shamelessly cheeky and you have more current things to do that are of much more interest to you… I know that I might be bored to revisit something I had created decades ago… but let me just say that the moment I want to celebrate is that of a small town sissy in 1979 finding strength in the chilly doomed glamour you created with that song and I want to recreate it as a 58-year-old man at the peak of his all too numbered powers.
Is this something you might consider?
In deep admiration
Gary said yes.
His performances as an alienated witness to a dystopian world in the 80s was one of the foundations of my personal aesthetic - his was a clinical and calculated artifice that gazed dispassionately on the banality of a decaying world; perfect for now.
There is a heavy dose of theatrical artifice in this collection - shoulders are monstrous and arms extended and extra spindly. Pilled knit sleeves swallow giant shoulder pads. There are garish leopard-printed satins, opalescent leathers and bright blue pirarucu... but these are just flourishes dusting a collection that is predominantly muted in gray cashmeres in multiple weights draped and wrapped gently around the body.
Cashmere knits in gray, cherry red, black, or bright blue are peeled up and down legs, arms, and torsos... some knits are traced in linear graphics similar to what kansai yamamoto did for bowie in the seventies (this collection is very kansai/beuys... ) These are worn under coats made of recycled plastic with bonded seams - thigh high boots have multiple zipped pockets and come in recycled plastic, opalescent leather, or acid-hued seawolf. Tailoring comes in slim coats with a high, sharp shoulder, diamond-silhouetted coats with mega wide shoulders, or hulking blanket coats and bombers mimicking le corbusier’s modulor man.
Long satin gowns provide slashes of color held together with the barest of ties at the side. duvets made in collaboration with moncler are worn as capes - these were part of the interior of a customized bus i did with them to take hun and myself on a road trip through the nevada desert on a land art tour - the bus was our personal gray insulated capsule traveling through area 51. There was a French 1930s cabaret performer named Cécile Sorel who would make her entrance walking down a long staircase and when she reached the bottom would ask the audience “How well did I descend?” I used this phrase as the title to the only book I thought I would ever write… since then I have done 4...