I was a young man, and this is the kind of London it was, but so many people are just not here anymore. Not even Tina [Chow], who was to me absolutely the most important girl of the time. Tina was absolutely the chicest thing, the way she kept herself, the way she moved. You're born like that - you cannot acquire it. All those upper-class girls, people like Catherine Tennant, they used to be there in Chelsea, sitting on the couch. Now Chelsea is full of Russians.
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It was a different social structure. I'd go to [David] Bailey's for dinner at 10:30. There were always girls there and a house full of . . . I don't know, anybody. Cecil Beaton, Diana Cooper . . . And there I am sitting down with these creatures of the 20th century, and it was normal to us.
Some people just use beautiful things to just shop or to have a tribal feeling - 'Oh, blah, blah, blah, I'm wearing Hermes; blah, blah, blah, I'm wearing Saint Laurent; blah-blah blah' - because it's like a need, a tribe, recognition: 'Ahh, my Rolex.' But I run away from anything which is too recognizable - it's my nature.
I'm not very nostalgic, you see. I just don't think anybody has that kind of thing anymore. By culture, by breeding, by whatever, it's not there. The kids today-what the hell are they going to be? I like young people - yes, I do. But when I talk to people at the schools, and they say, "I saw you on the Twit," I don't even know what they are talking about.
I thought Victoria Beckham was going to be one of those pop girls, but she's absolutely the complete opposite. She's a working girl. She knows what she wants. And when she doesn't know, she really prepares herself. I love this working type of women. And she's a girl from - I don't even know where she's from.
The most tragic moment of my life was the first show I ever designed for. I had been asked to make shoes for Ossie Clark's show in the early '70s. I was so inexperienced that I didn't put the steel in the heels of the shoes, which is required to support the shoe and the wearer. So the girls came out walking very strangely in these rubber, bendy high-heeled shoes I had made. I thought 'Oh dear god! This is the end of me.' But after the show, even David Hockney and Cecil Beaton said to me 'It was so interesting that the girls were moving in such a different way.'
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I like the new shoe designers. Not all of them - there are really bad ones too. But I go to the colleges with these kids for lectures, as an honorary professor or whatever, and this Chinese girl I like very much who I give the award to says to me, "You don't know how much you inspired me to do shoes." And I'm glad that I convey that kind of desire to people when they see my bloody shoes.
I watched L'eclisse  with Alain Delon and Monica Vitti. Changed my world. What a glamorous and modern film. This is what a genius is - the thing of a genius. The dresses, the tiny heels, the Cardin look, the boys dressed up as Italian gigolos - it was divine, very modern. [ Michelangelo] Antonioni, I loved and I realized: how modern.
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I never watched those Spice Girls. I didn't enjoy that at all. So I didn't know Victoria Beckham well. But she came out with this pretty boy, got married, and the boy got more tattoos and more tattoos. And then I met her a few times, and we started work, and something happened. You know, she wanted it. She loves what she's doing.
I only saw one collection of Victoria Beckham, and I thought it was very much like Pierre Cardin or Marcel Rochas dresses. She's thought about it, and she knows what she wants. And people buy it, so that means she works. She has this incredible will power to do something that she likes to do. And I love that. I respect that.
Peter Hinwood found all these old pictures - Polaroids - and when I saw them, I just didn't believe that the person in them was connected with me. I was in a hotel room with one of those front-and-back mirrors, and I thought, Who the hell is that? I used to be thin as a rake. I used to have the nice-shaped pecs. It's sad. No, it's not sad, it's the reality, and I've accepted this now.