It’s sometimes said that I’m rebellious and I do things to push people’s buttons, but I just like the challenge. You’re only as good as your last collection, which is an enormous pressure. The only way to do something in depth is to work hard. Over the years I have learned that what is important in a dress is the woman who is wearing it. 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 never look at other people’s work. My mind has to be completely focused on my own illusions. Elegance is not the prerogative of those who have just escaped from adolescence, but of those who have already taken possession of their future. It should be natural, and that’s how I like women to look. I like them to feel comfortable and look organic. I love a black wedding dress. I think there is something about luxury – it’s not something people need, but it’s what they want. It really pulls at their heart.

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. When I was young, I lived like an old woman, and when I got old, I had to live like a young person. I’ve always tried to push myself technically and to push myself visually. That’s been part of the journey. Delete the negative; accentuate the positive! I would like the people that buy my clothes to understand that for me it’s one small piece of art.

I am never satisfied with myself and that is what keeps me going – I have no post-satisfaction. Women are women, and hurray for that. I sometimes feel that a pattern is almost a fashion statement in itself. You can hide so much behind theatrics, and I don’t need to do that any more. I think God is the most fantastic designer.

I was the first person to have a punk rock hairstyle. Attention to detail is of utmost importance when you want to look good. It’s hard to balance everything. It’s always challenging. Men have got more of a discerning eye. They appreciate cut and details, things that aren’t so obvious. They like things that have cachet and gentlemanliness. 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.

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