Photography: Danielle Levitt
29 of August 2020, Editor x
Michèle Lamy is a beacon of influence. Her reach lies not only in numbers, but in intangible power of influence. She is not only a great source of inspiration to OWENSCORP.; Michèle is also a multi-talented artist who has championed the careers of promising fashion creators such as Gareth Pugh and Ahmed Abdelrahman. Additionally, she’s also designed LAMYLAND, a free art playground to the artist’s many interventions, that include a boxing ring in the corner of Selfridges and a photo diary in Dubai that caused quite an impression online.
We are deeply proud to interview brutalist cult sensation that has so much of what we admire at Fashion New Order…
Editor X: FNO is a fashion portal that values, above most, creativity and creative freedom of expression. We’d love to know about you, though, what do you fight for, at the moment? Also, what hope should we have for the future, what do you see happening in this world that is ever more divided?
Michèle Lamy: Yes we are all wondering what's the "new order" of Fashion ?
It' the time to figure out how to stay safe and healthy and try to understand what has happened to us in our 21st century - a virus - a little flu virus is attacking our world and forces a reshape of our routines and more to try to reform all the bases of our civilization .
X: Now, concerning your personal image. We do love perversions and subversions. Is there a story behind the clerical headpiece you’ve used often? What about the clear line in your forehead? I know that’s a place quite associated with the “third-eye”, a locus of occult power and wisdom.
Were those very conscious acts or simply intuitive choices of look disregarding previous symbolisms?
ML: Yes, we do love perversion and subversion.With a lot of humor I hope . Laughing at what we have not got / when we ought to have it ..
Recognizing the power of self-respect and that anything worth having has a price, metaphorically speaking.
Photography: Danielle Levitt
Indeed I’m often wearing a do-rag and always drawing a black Kohl line on my front. And yes often - especially in taxi cabs - the drivers want me to read their palms or give them numbers for the Loto !
X: Throughout your life, you’ve championed many young artists, like Giovanni Bassan, Ahmed Abdelrahman and many others. What would you recommend to a young fashion designer graduating today? Many of our readers are from Central Saint Martins, Antwerp and Polimoda, they would love to know any good advice on the beginning of their careers.
We know you’ve championed Gareth Pugh, after he graduated from CSM. How was that relationship? What did you sense on him that made you believe that much in his work?
ML: So you assume that I have the eyes to detect who will be the next designer or trend?
Well, did I not do the best with Rick Owens ?....He was 25 and I was concluding a little adventure in my 'Michele Lamy' clothing world .. I gave him the baton .....Then I was seduced by the singularity of vision and humanity of spirit of Gareth and Ahmed who have now gone their own way .
X: I know you occasionally hire interns from fashion top schools. You have also worn some of their pieces, like Brandon Wen’s horns, for example. What qualities do you look for in a good assistant?
ML: As for Brandon, I did "steal “ him from his internship at Rick Owens ... and as I was co-creating/performing in a Cecilia Bengolea performance during Performa last November in NY - he ended up being one of the main dancers in our before we die piece. The piece involved the entire cast wearing archive pieces from my treasured Comme Des Garçons collection and the music taken from my conceptual art band, LAVASCAR which I formed with the sound artist Nico Vascellari and my daughter, the artist Scarlett Rouge. The sound is primitive, electronic, meditative, compelling.
"We do love perversion and subversion.
With a lot of humor I hope."
From then we knew that we had a 'collaboration in the making' here ….with him rearranging/re working the antlers - that I have very often been wearing from different mammals !
The best images of me wearing them are from the Rick Owens and Moncler collaboration celebration that, even if it had to be so discreet in the beginning due to timing, ended up being the most ‘hip-hip Hurrah’ staging of Rick and I ‘on the road’ in a customized Rick Owens and Moncler collab tour bus on a road trip through the West Coast (USA) - artsy nomads we were!
X: Regarding your own artsy world, Lamyland, are there any news you’d like to share on future projects? Any collaborations we should expect to see?
ML: In the Lamyland world ... we are preparing the only gig that was 'cancelled but reinstalled' for the 10th of October in Latvia where LAVASCAR will be headlining ! crossing our fingers - Being long in the tooth, I'm antsy … to make the most of my time... But I want to take chances, to do my own work with my tribe and take pride in it .
"So you assume that I have the eyes to detect who will be the next designer or trend? Well, did I not do the best with Rick Owens?"
I’m fighting for a new way of being, ready to imagine a new world. It will unfold on my Instagram ‘What Are We Fighting For’ Live series….we’re kicking off again come September.
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