I want people to be afraid of the women I dress. Luxury will be always around, no matter what happens in the world.
Give me time and I’ll give you a revolution. The only way to do something in depth is to work hard. I would like to be a one-man multinational fashion phenomenon. We must never confuse elegance with snobbery. Beauty is perfect in its imperfections, so you just have to go with the imperfections.
A lot of self-importance goes on in the fashion industry. I’m not like that. Woman has the age she deserves. 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. Jeans represent democracy in fashion. I’ve always tried to push myself technically and to push myself visually. That’s been part of the journey.
Nostalgia is a very complicated subject for me. I’m attracted by nostalgia but I refuse it intellectually. Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future. Women are more sure of themselves today. They don’t have to emulate the way men dress. I do not have one theme for each season, I just try to make beautiful clothes all year round. It’s sometimes said that I’m rebellious and I do things to push people’s buttons, but I just like the challenge.
Clothes mean nothing until someone lives in them. My customers are successful workingwomen. I try to contrast; life today is full of contrast… We have to change. I am not interested in the past, except as the road to the future. In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different.
It is difficult to talk about fashion in the abstract, without a human body before my eyes, without drawings, without a choice of fabric – without a practical or visual reality. I’ve always tried to push myself technically and to push myself visually. That’s been part of the journey. 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. I don’t care about money. I really don’t care. I just want to do what I do. I think it’s an old fashioned notion that fashion needs to be exclusive to be fashionable.
“An evening dress that reveals a woman’s ankles while walking is the most disgusting thing I have ever seen.”
Women are women, and hurray for that?
I couldn’t love a woman who inspired me to be totally disinterested. If I fell in love with a woman for an artistic reason, or from the point of view of my work, I think it would rob her of something. I always say: To be well dressed you must be well naked. Fashion fades, only style remains the same. I wanted to dress the woman who lives and works, not the woman in a painting. Men have got more of a discerning eye. They appreciate cut and details, things that aren’t so obvious.
To be well dressed you must be well naked?
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. My learning process is by eye alone; it’s not at all scientific. It’s a philosophy of life. A practice. If you do this, something will change, what will change is that you will change.