My London: fashion designer Rick Owens

 Illustration by Silvia Prada ( )
Illustration by Silvia Prada ( )

Home is…

The centre of Paris, next to the Tuileries Garden, which I take full advantage of.

Where do you stay in London?

I enjoy The Beaumont for the private terraces that overlook Brown Hart Gardens — and the proximity to Hyde Park. There is nothing more deliciously civilised than a big, gentle park in the middle of a bustling city.

Best place for a first date?

I would suggest taking someone to Sir John Soane’s Museum or Leighton House museum. Murmuring and getting to know someone in the nooks and crannies of that kind of setting is bound to set the right tone.

Best meal you’ve had in London?

I always love the chicken pot pie at Claridge’s in a cosy corner with that huge central flower extravaganza within eyesight and warm scones for dessert. Then to be gently carried by the waiter to my room where a chorus from housekeeping lullabies me to sleep.

Where would you most like to be buried?

Under a tree in Hyde Park next to the lake, set to the song ‘Heart of the City’ by Dorothy Squires.

What would you do if you were Mayor for the day?

I would ask everyone to observe velvet cape day on Tuesday, which I am sure we all agree is the dreariest day of the week.

What makes someone a Londoner?

The recognition of the importance of a sense of duty and honour.

Best thing a cabbie has said to you?

I don’t remember anything specific from a cabbie except their refreshing warmth after arriving on the train from grumpy Paris. But I remember a hotel doorman asking if I needed anything as I stepped outside for a cigarette and when I joked that we were just going into the corner to shoot up, he promptly responded: ‘May I fetch you a spoon sir?’

Who is the most iconic Londoner?

I always think of Leigh Bowery being one of my favourite British characters, even though I know he was Australian.

What do you collect?

I’m not very acquisitive but I have a modest amount of Hugo Elmqvist vases that make me want more

What’s your London secret?

Mr Kipling French Fancies.

What’s your biggest extravagance?

A one-hour nap after lunch every day.

Who do you call to have fun?

Jo-Ann Furniss has been a fashion critic and journalist forever and gave me my first ever story in i-D magazine. She is my resource for everything esoteric and cultivated.

What’s your favourite work of art in London?

The Joseph Beuys room at Tate Modern.

What are you up to at the moment for work?

I am refining my women’s spring runway collection that I will be presenting in Paris later this month.

Who is your hero?

My goal was to be Charles James, ending my days making beautiful clothes in eccentric squalor.

‘More Rick Owens’ by Rick Owens with photographs by Danielle Levitt is published on 26 September (£50; Rizzoli)