Fashion Icon Michèle Lamy And Husband Designer Rick Owens Were In Egypt With Artist Youssef Nabil

Fashion icon Michèle Lamy’s candid photo in the market by Youssef Nabil has us thinking!

Michèle Lamy and Rick Owens pose together during their recent trip to Egypt. Photo: Instagram/@mryoussefnabil

by Leen Altiman

Fashion 15 June 2019

Cultural and fashion icon Michèle Lamy was recently in Cairo, Egypt with husband designer Rick Owens.

American designer Rick Owens whose gothic glamour aesthetic we love, is currently in Cairo, Egypt, with his muse, wife and creative collaborator Michèle Lamy. Egyptian artist and photographer Youssef Nabil was accompanying Rick and Michéle through the streets of Cairo, where he posted a few images of their time together on his Instagrma account.

And one photo in particular caught our eye.

WATCH: Why is this photo of Michèle Lamy so fascinating?

Youssef Nabil is an internationally renowned artist, who started his career working with the American photographer David LaChapelle and the Peruvian photographer Mario Testino.

Youssef is particularly known for his portraits where he uses the distinct technique of hand-colouring gelatin silver prints to perfection.

He’s photographed a number of famous people through this method including performance artist Marina Abramović, visual artist Shirin Neshat, singers Sting and Alicia Keys, as well as legendary Egyptian actors Omar Sahrif and Faten Hamama and many others.

Michèle posted an interesting video of their time there on her Instgram account.

The video shows Rick Owens walking through the narrow streets of the Khan El-Khalili bazaar along with Youssef Nabil. The edited video also shows quick clips of Rick posing for photos, looking at jewellery stands.

Rick Owens, Michèle Lamy and Youssef Nabil in a cafe in Cairo. Photo: Instagram/@mryoussefnabil

The video concludes with clips of their destination, The Al-Hussain Mosque, with Michèle focusing on some of the exterior architectural details.

At some point, Youssef snapped a photo of Michèle which both he and she posted  their perspective accounts.

The photo is fascinating.

Not only for its composition, which oddly reminded of Botticelli’s The Birth of Venus, but when you have a closer look, the image is interesting for its obvious contradictions.

Michèle walks wearing a deep purple one shoulder, asymmetric draped mid-length dress with burgundy platform boots. Possibly all by Rick Owens.

Male civilians and shop owners stare at her as she walks by.

From her facial tattoos, bejewelled tattooed fingers, gold and diamond-encrusted teeth, Michèle’s look, is hard not to notice.

Fascinating photo of Michéle Lamy in Egypt markets by Youssef Nabil. Photo: Instagram/@mryoussefnabil

Inspired by her Algerian roots, Michèle plays with proportion and fit, making her style experimental, earthy and avant-garde.

Is that why the men stare at her? Because she looks different? Or because she is scantily dressed by their standards?

Odd when you notice that they openly sell belly dancer outfits in their shops.

Many elements of Michèle’s look aren’t too far removed from traditional Arab garb and style.

So, why is how she’s put her look together worthy of gawking at?

Notice the man in front dressed in a traditional Arab thobe, which may have, at some point, served as inspiration for some of Rick Owens designs.

READ: Arabs At The Met Gala

The man looks back at Michele, his expression hidden from us, the white of his thobe other than Michele, acts as a focal point in the photo.

How does he look at her? With curiosity? Judgment? Irritation or is he simply observing her for her paradoxes?

In a way Michele, who was born and raised in France but is of Algerian origin, has accidently personified in this photo the feeling many immigrant Arabs have when they return to their motherland.

The feeling of both being familiar and an other.

Does being a fashion forward version of the Arab aesthetic make you an anomaly? Does it make you less or more of Arab or just a different kind of Arab.

There probably isn’t an answer.

WATCH: Michèle Lamy’s Instagram video of her trip to Cairo


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Shoukran !

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No matter the reasons why Michele was the subject of intense gaze and curiosity in Youssef Nabil’s photo, given her nonchalant expression, we doubt that she’s even bothered by the attention.

So why were one of our favourite fashion couples in Cairo, Egypt? For a holiday?

Or were they out there seeking inspiration for a new collection of work?

Or are they collaborating with Youssef Nabil? Perhaps he’s doing a portrait of them? What a delicious prospect!

What we love about Rick Owens and Michèle Lamy is that they aren’t ones to follow trends.

So, whether it’s inspiration from the streets of Cairo or a possible collaboration with Youssef Nabil, we know it’s going to be good and we are so here for it.

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