I always thought what you wore underneath was as important as what you wear on top. I am especially grateful that I have been able to keep my own style over the decades, in spite of the many changes that have taken place in the world of fashion and in its business. I want people to be afraid of the women I dress. Being one step ahead of a fashion trend is not so important to me. What matters is to always forge ahead. I love women’s fashion, but women don’t need me as much as men do. It’s the men who have nothing to wear.
I like to be real. I don’t like things to be staged or fussy. Sometimes incompetence is useful. It helps you keep an open mind.
What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today when human contacts go so fast. Fashion is instant language. Insecurity is a waste of time. It pains me physically to see a woman victimized, rendered pathetic, by fashion.
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 love my beauty. It’s not my fault. Online media is increasingly influential in fashion. I like to be real. I don’t like things to be staged or fussy. My dresses are very reasonably priced, for dresses that are cut on the body.
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. Confidence. If you have it, you can make anything look good. If you cut a painter’s hands off, he’d still feel the urge to pick up a brush. I love things that age well – things that don’t date, that stand the test of time and that become living examples of the absolute best. My aim is to make the poor look rich and the rich look poor.
Today, I’m very happy about myself, because I realized my dreams. I learned how to understand what people want. 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. Age is something only in your head or a stereotype. Age means nothing when you are passionate about something. 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 like things simple.
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. Even Michelangelo got paid for doing the Sistine Chapel. To those artists who say they’re doing it for the love of art, I say: Get real. You can hide so much behind theatrics, and I don’t need to do that any more. I think I’d go mad if I didn’t have a place to escape to. 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 love a black wedding dress. My relationships with producers or photographers – these are relationships that took years. In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different. Fashion can be this mysterious thing that you can’t explain. I’m an accomplice to helping women get what they want.