Rick Owens Talks Lou Reed, Fascism & Homophobic Father

03/29/2011 12:39 pm ET | Updated May 29, 2011

The Independent recently caught up with one of the darker designers to have dressed Michelle Obama, Rick Owens. To be clear, although the First Lady lived in his pale green jacket two summers ago, we're absolutely sure she's never sat down with him to discuss, well, any of the below. Obviously.

Here are some of the more interesting portions from the interview.

On his method:

"I try to make clothes the way Lou Reed does music, with minimal chord changes. It's about giving everything I make a worn, softened feel. It's about an elegance being tinged with the barbaric, the luxury of not caring."

"I like classicism. I like historic reference. I like something new with something almost ancient. I like [legendary costume designer] Adrian; Hollywood in the Twenties and Thirties. I like discipline and the idea of restraint. I was always anti the whole moving-and-manipulating-the-body-around. It's like telling someone that their body isn't right and needs to be redone. When I make clothes it's about using bias cut, jersey and drape around the body. It has always been important to me that the clothes are somehow affectionate."

On his childhood:

"I have a conflicted relationship with my parents. They're great -- my mother is a walking hug. But it's complicated. Dad's very homophobic. He can be very racist. He is anti-abortionist. And he's active politically in all of these things. I am an obvious reaction to that. Obviously. Spectacularly. But there's also this side of him that is very gentle. He's a very loving spirit. It's difficult to figure him out because you're thinking, 'You're a Nazi but you're so sweet'. I resented it as I was growing up, resented my dad for too much control, but he turned me into this. I advocate any kind of sexuality. I'm liberal. I'm anti-conventional. And, to keep me in his life, he has turned a blind eye to all of that."

On working with his wife Michele Lamy:

"It's kind of like asking a gypsy to organise a war with a fascist. She's so generous and flexible with deadlines and I'm not."

Read the rest of the fascinating discussion at the Independent.

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