Rock and a Hard Place

Rick Owens launches a range of unconventional and uncomfortable furniture

Published: 06th September 2014 10:00 PM  |   Last Updated: 06th September 2014 11:00 AM   |  A+A-


Fashion designer Rick Owens first exhibited his ‘furniture’ designs—although functional pieces, they were more like monumental totems—back in 2010. Since then Owens has more than proved that this is no dilettante distraction from his proper job. Owens originally custom-designed most of his furniture for his own use in his Paris headquarters. The forms are as sculptural as his clothing but have a monolithic weight to them. They are made predominantly from raw plywood, resin and fibreglass but several pieces could just as easily be carved in stone. He has (almost) completely suppressed any temptation to add decorative gothic touches beyond the rather poetic use of a pair of antlers serving as asymmetric wings to a pair of chairs. He even, rather decently, covers up a standard lamp in cashmere. Owens is clearly no dilettante when it comes to furniture—these are strong pieces and it is not without reason that he is now represented in this field by one of the worlds most respected design galleries: Jousse Enterprise.

sofa.jpgOwens’ design colour palette stretches from white to black, stopping nowhere in between. But this is the rarest sort of monochromatics. The whites are the whites of ox bone and alabaster while his dark materials are 500,000 year old petrified wood or (in stark contrast, or not), painted plywood.

Produced by Italian craftsmen using local materials, the collection includes chairs, a dining table, couch, daybed and an enormous screen—and look as if they have been taken from a fantastic temple, the props for strange ceremonies.

His furniture is as austere and impactful as his clothing. Petrified wood chairs and plywood/alabaster sofas might not make you want to lounge, but will certainly solve the problem of lingering houseguests. Each piece serves as a work of art, and with two oxbone chairs and this sitting in your driveway, you’ll be sure to out do any one percenter out there.


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