I am no longer concerned with sensation and innovation, but with the perfection of my style. I don’t like trends. They tend to make everybody look the same. I didn’t want to be a fashion designer, and for a good half of my career I didn’t like it. I always wanted to do other things. I am no longer concerned with sensation and innovation, but with the perfection of my style. You can’t just buy things for the label – it’s ridiculous.
A woman has the age she deserves. Design is a constant challenge to balance comfort with luxe, the practical with the desirable. That is the key of this collection, being yourself. Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live. An evening dress that reveals a woman’s ankles while walking is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen. Delete the negative; accentuate the positive!
Attitude is everything
Brides today are increasingly sensitive to the tastes, feelings and finances of their attendants. Confidence. If you have it, you can make anything look good. We have got to change our ethics and our financial system and our whole way of understanding the world. It has to be a world in which people live rather than die; a sustainable world. It could be great. Women are more sure of themselves today. They don’t have to emulate the way men dress. I’ve treated the waistcoat as if it were a corset, so that it becomes the first layer in the process of putting clothes on the body. There is constant motion between layering and revealing.
Fashion is to please your eye. Shapes and proportions are for your intellect.
I want people to be afraid of the women I dress. Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it. My dresses are very reasonably priced, for dresses that are cut on the body. I never look at other people’s work. My mind has to be completely focused on my own illusions. Sometimes the simplest things are the most profound.
Fashion is a very stressful place to work because of the demands of doing the shows – no one expects a writer to produce two books a year on the dot – but it’s also a very toxic place to work. Attention to detail is of utmost importance when you want to look good. It’s really easy to get colors right. It’s really hard to get black – and neutrals – right. Black is certainly a color but it’s also an illusion. Instead of buying six things, one thing that you really like. Don’t keep buying just for the sake of it. I am not interested in shock tactics. I just want to make beautiful clothes.
Style for yourself
I like the irony in my work. There are only three things I can do – make a dress, decorate a house, and entertain people. Money doesn’t buy elegance. You can take an inexpensive sheath, add a pretty scarf, gray shoes, and a wonderful bag, and it will always be elegant. Fashion is about dressing according to what’s fashionable. Style is more about being yourself. Beauty is perfect in its imperfections, so you just have to go with the imperfections.
The important thing is to take your time and not get stressed. The important thing is to take your time and not get stressed. I have my favourite fashion decade, yes, yes, yes: ’60s. It was a sort of little revolution; the clothes were amazing but not too exaggerated. I am no longer concerned with sensation and innovation, but with the perfection of my style. I like the body. I like to design everything to do with the body.