Bruce Oldfield: Don't deviate from my patterns
Bruce Oldfield ordered a high-street retailer to stop doing "interpretations" of his designs when they started working together.
The couture designer created some of Britain's late Princess Diana's most iconic looks, including a backless silver gown she wore to a charity ball in 1985. He's now bringing his pieces to the mass market thanks to a collaboration with UK store John Lewis, although he had to be very clear about the way things would work.
"I've been involved at every stage," he told Hello! Fashion Monthly. "Right at the beginning, I was looking at a sample which was nothing like my sketch. 'What's that?' I asked. 'It's an interpretation,' they told me. So I said, 'Right! From now on, there will be no interpretation, thank you. You follow exactly what the pattern says, exactly the measurements as specified.' And I'm pleased to say they did."
Despite dressing some of the best known women in the world, Bruce has remained a thoroughly British designer. That's not to say offers haven't come his way, rather he's never followed up on them.
"There were times," he said. "About 40 years ago, I think we spoke for a minute about Ungaro. I was offered the job at Hartnell, but said no. I guess if someone had asked me to do Lanvin 30 years ago, I would have stepped up. I know all the old brands are having a makeover, but they wouldn't necessarily go for a 65-year-old designer."
Bruce could be in luck, as Lanvin is currently on the hunt for a new designer following the departure of Alber Elbaz after 14 years on Wednesday (28Oct15).
The designer has started to watch what he says a little, as his loose lips have got him in trouble in the past. Now he's happy to state titbits, but only if they are kind.
"I mustn't gossip," he said. "The temptation is to gossip, but I've been told now to. I'm a bit gobby, I get in trouble when I gossip... The black lace dress Kim Kardashian wore to the Golden Globes 2012 was a sample size 10. When it came back, someone had taken in darts around the waist to make it much smaller. We sold it to a young girl from Paris who rushed to London on the Eurostar."