Jul 12, 2011 12:00AM

Oyster #93: Michele Lamy

I've always been extremely short-sighted, so I'm sure I was very reckless in my youth.

Michele Lamy is revered as one of the fashion industry's true eccentrics. She is best known as wife, muse and creative accomplice of gothic-fashion purist Rick Owens, however, this is just a single facet of Lamy's kaleidoscopic life - teenage stripper, cabaret consort, restaurateur, designer, film-maker, defence attorney and philosophical protegee to the late Gilles Deleuze are but a handful of Lamy's past pursuits. The LA club queen has cult appeal, kindled by an intimidating intellect and an awe-inspiring sense of style. In Oyster #93 we asked Lamy what roles beauty and self-image have played in her colourful life.

Renee Warne: I'm fascinated by what you must have been like as a teenager - did you have the same reckless confidence you have now?
Michele Lamy: I've always been extremely short-sighted, so I'm sure I was very reckless in my youth, as the fog surrounding me encouraged me to experiment a lot. The only thing I can be sure of is that my nose was always close to a book.

Your life has been an exotic pilgrimage, with a lot of exploration along the way. Can you explain some of the different phases you've experienced?
In my twenties, I wanted to escape my rich provincial upbringing, so I abandoned studies as a defence attorney to striptease. I was involved in the May, 1968 protests in Paris, and in the early seventies I wanted to be Bob Dylan. My thirties were spent living the Californian Dream surrounded by artists, and giving birth to my daughter Scarlett Rouge. My forties were an entrepreneurial era in Los Angeles where I met my honey, Rick Owens, and I will spend my fifties enjoying life with him.

Do you still like to experiment with your look, or do you feel you've settled into a routine that works for you?
Routine? No - except, perhaps, running out of fingers for rings and arms for bracelets!

What is your daily fitness routine? 
Hammam [Turkish bath], boxing, weights and stretching.

What products do you use to care for your skin and hair?
Henna, oils and kohl.

You often wear a vertical line painted on your forehead. Is this symbolic?

Always. It's what keeps me grounded! I apply it with an eye pencil and make sure it's not too straight.

I've heard you treat your nails with henna. Can you explain the process?
It's not the traditional Indian henna, but a similar Japanese vegetable dye that's used to cover grey hair. It last forever and never chips. It's a good matte black.

You've altered your appearance in some significant and permanent ways, like tattooing your hands and gold plating your teeth. What was the motivation behind this?
To be able to sing King Kong Blues.

What's your view on the rise of tattooing and body piercing in the mainstream?

As with most things, sometimes it fits, and sometimes it does not. I admire Sang Bleu [tattoo art/fashion publication].

How do you maintain the manic energy levels required to manage all of your projects at the moment?
With happiness.

You are often sensationalised as having pagan, occult and voodoo associations. Do you subscribe to any of these superstitions?
Belief is a way to express a memory of your genes.

How would you define beauty?
Getting older with satisfaction and imagination.
 

Words: Renee Warne

Photography: Nicolas Hidiro

www.hidiro.com

Latest


Zara Removes Holocaust-Resembling Kid's Tee

One chain's 'Old West' is everyone else's 'World War 11'.


Let Nicki Minaj & Drake Take You Shopping For Snax

Plus an epic mix of Nicki verses and an extended fart joke.


Sanrio Says Hello Kitty Is NOT A Cat

This can't be happening.


Watch Grimes' Full 'Go' Feat. Blood Diamonds Video

Dante's Inferno-inspired rave surrealism.


Carlotta Kohl's Santa Fe

Roadtrip snaps.


Oyster Playlist: Heartbeat @ Goodgod

A 'Freaks in the Club' themed guide to your new favourite night.


Model Roosmarijn De Kok Arrested For Stealing Chocolate Bars

Goes to court on Whole Foods shoplifting charges.


Nike Tech Pack Studio In Melbourne

Coming to Collins Street.


Imaginary Online Dating Profile: One Day

Raph talks cheese, Uber and Annabel Crabb.


Big Boi Really Loves Kate Bush <3

Explains the joy and genius of 'Running Up That Hill' in new documentary.


See Unpublished Images By Corinne Day

Never-before-seen photos released from stylist Tara St Hill.


Street Style: Afropunk Festival 2014

Oyster contributor Driely S documents the looks at Fort Greene, Brooklyn.


Facebook Launches Anti-Click Bait Efforts

You'll NEVER believe what happens next!


Read An Excerpt From Lena Dunham's Memoir

She's a 'difficult girl'.


WIN — What We Do In The Shadows

See an advance screening in Sydney or Melbourne on us.


Get Snapped By Oyster x Camper

In Melbourne this Friday and Saturday!


3nder Is Tinder For Threesomes

Ménage a internet.


Top 10 Moments of The VMAs In GIFs

Mostly Beyonce and Nicki.


Chloe Sevigny Mourns The State of NYC

Says jocks have ruined the East Village.


Hear Part Of Drake's 'Views From The 6'

It's about Rihanna, duh.


Red Carpet: VMAs 2014

Livestream all of the fashionz.


Grimes Boycotts Ice Bucket Challenge

Citing animal testing and the drought in California.


Oyster Playlist: Broods' 90s Friday

Celebrating today's release of 'Evergreen'.


Exclusive: Di$count TRA$H Collection SS14/15

Plus, watch their off-schedule MBFWA show film!


Computers Can Guess Your Emotions Now

Mashing the keyboard harder won't help.


Tumblr To ID Your Clothing Labels In Posts

That's not very soft ghetto, pale gothic of you Tumblr.


The Knife Are Breaking Up

It's all over after their November tour of Europe.


Watch The Weeknd's 'Often' Video (NSFW)

Girl, he does this often.


Meet The Model: Veroniek @ IMG

Love big cats, Cannes and Katy Perry.