Design Date with Celia Birtwell

Celia Birtwell is a revered designer whose work spans interiors and fashion. She rose to fame in the ’60s alongside her then husband, fashion designer Ossie Clark. She is signing copies of her new book, Celia Birtwell, on Monday 26 September at 10.30am in the Tatler Restaurant.

What is your earliest ‘design’ moment, the one that perhaps set you on your path?
I used to spend hours watching my mother sew, making dresses for friends and family.

What design projects are you currently working on? I’ve been working on my new collection and for the last two years I’ve been working on my book, which has been great fun, as it’s something I’ve not done before.

Career highlight? Obviously working with Ossie was a huge highlight. Watching his shows in the early 70s, at places such as Chelsea Town Hall, the Royal Court etc made me realise that this was something very special.

Is there a crossover of influences between your prints for the home and for fashion, or do you approach them quite separately? Much as I like the idea of using prints from fashion for the home, in my experience they are very different. A home fabric has to be sympathetic for the whole room, whereas a fashion print must look good on the wearer.

Describe your perfect day… An exciting day for me is when I have a project to work on, developing my ideas from my sketches. The ideas are scanned, and then the whole day is spent manipulating and changing them to suit the brief.


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