Fashion is always of the time in which you live. It is not something standing alone. But the grand problem, the most important problem, is to rejeuvenate women. To make women look young. Then their outlook changes. They feel more joyous. Some people think luxury is the opposite of poverty. It is not. It is the opposite of vulgarity. I’ve always thought of the T-shirt as the Alpha and Omega of the fashion alphabet. I am no longer concerned with sensation and innovation, but with the perfection of my style. Design is a series of creative choices – it’s a collaborative effort, an evolutionary process. You choose your fabrics depending upon what you want to say, then you work with mills to get those fabrics. Through the process, you realize what you want it to be.
We look our best in subdued colors, sophisticated cuts, and a general air of sleek understatement. Dressing up. People just don’t do it anymore. We have to change that. Being one step ahead of a fashion trend is not so important to me. What matters is to always forge ahead. Jeans represent democracy in fashion. I like the body. I like to design everything to do with the body.
I feel that things happen for a reason and open up new opportunities. 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. I am no longer concerned with sensation and innovation, but with the perfection of my style. 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. I think it’s the responsibility of a designer to try to break rules and barriers.
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. Brides today are increasingly sensitive to the tastes, feelings and finances of their attendants. I think I’d go mad if I didn’t have a place to escape to. Fashion should be fun. It shouldn’t be labelled intellectual. I don’t try to be in fashion; I don’t try to follow trends. You just end up out of fashion that way.
The great thing about fashion is that it always looks forward. You have to stay true to your heritage; that’s what your brand is about. I never like to think that I design for a particular person. I design for the woman I wanted to be, the woman I used to be, and – to some degree – the woman I’m still a little piece of. I am always locked in my design studio. All I did my first year at Vogue was Xerox.
Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it. War taught me that not everything is glamorous. 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. I didn’t consider myself a fashion designer at all at the time of punk. I was just using fashion as a way to express my resistance and to be rebellious. I came from the country, and by the time I got to London, I considered myself to be very stupid. It was my ambition to understand the world I live in. Dressing up. People just don’t do it anymore. We have to change that.
Fashion is always of the time in which you live. It is not something standing alone. But the grand problem, the most important problem, is to rejeuvenate women. To make women look young. Then their outlook changes. They feel more joyous. I adore the challenge of creating truly modern clothes, where a woman’s personality and sense of self are revealed. I want people to see the dress, but focus on the woman. I love my beauty. It’s not my fault. Fashion fades, only style remains the same. I think I’d go mad if I didn’t have a place to escape to.
Fashion can be this mysterious thing that you can’t explain. Beauty is perfect in its imperfections, so you just have to go with the imperfections. In a meat-eating world, wearing leather for shoes and clothes and even handbags, the discussion of fur is childish. I sometimes feel that a pattern is almost a fashion statement in itself. There are only three things I can do – make a dress, decorate a house, and entertain people.