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Lisa, you have been running your own fashion label for ten years now. How has that been for you? 

I set up Lisa Redman after being the right hand to Elspeth Gibson for nearly six years. Following her decision to pursue other design opportunities, it felt like a natural progression. So six months later I started to gradually take commissions for special pieces…

I was lucky enough to have an initial injection of cash, which was integral to the set up. This enabled me to buy the equipment to produce in-house and create a small collection of pieces that were the basis for people to order from – a starting point, from which to create their own bespoke piece.

At this time I based the business in north west London in a close friend’s home, who also worked in the industry. This was really important to be around like minded people that understood the challenges. That was ten years ago and the essence of the business is still the same – creating very special pieces for some very inspirational ladies of the UK and beyond.

What achievements have delighted you the most?

I really do love working with the ladies on a one-to-one basis and creating a special piece for a special occasion. It truly delights me when they are delighted. I know how important it is to feel fantastic as well as relaxed on an important day, and I don’t under estimate how clothes really do have the power to give you that confidence.

I get real pleasure from the whole design process and its very satisfying to see a piece morph into real life – from a loose conversation and vision, to a final sketch,  and finally an actual dream dress that then literally goes to the ball. Seeing the photos after the event is always very exciting for the entire team, as so much love and energy goes into these pieces, from our highly skilled seamstress, pattern cutter, hand beader etc.

What have been the major challenges?

One of the biggest challenges is the actual running of the business. Coming from a creative view point this sometimes doesn’t sit quite so well with the commercial world. I have had to learn as I go. I think it helped that I have grown up being surrounded by direct family and friends all of whom have run their own businesses this gives you the confidence to go for it.

I have also learnt that saying ‘cash is king’ is very true. Cashflow can be interesting at times, and this can really affect the business if not managed in advance. Lastly being the name of the business and the primary contact in all capacities is a challenge. Being the creative designer, the production manager, the accounts department… it’s hard to change hats, and be all things equally successfully.

You create brilliant clothes for fashion-conscious women from around the world. Can you tell us a bit about how you work with them? What is your approach?

I work with inspirational women and I really appreciate that – it’s a real honour. I work very closely with the loyal regular client base that I have, creating their unique bespoke pieces. I tend to work differently with different clients depending on what suits them. Some like me to visit them in their own home, some come to my studio, some I visit the hotel they may be staying in… it’s really their choice.

We talk about what they are currently coveting, or a gap in their wardrobe, or perhaps they have something special to go to. They may have their own ideas and inspiration as a starting point. My in-house collection is a constant source of inspiration, and the essence of our house signature is evident in every piece we create. We look at a variety of high-end fabrics as we offer a huge collection from the best mills in England, France and Italy. All the hand embellishment is done in-house so this really can be designed to their brief too. The initial consultation is very relaxed. If we are at the atelier, we sit on the sofa and browse all the above over a cup of tea.

The service side of what I do is very important to me, and I want clients to feel comfortable, and relaxed. After all it is a fairly intimate relationship when you are creating their clothes. And of course ultimately you want to do the best job for your client so listening, trying to understand their brief and expectations and turning them into a reality. We create a toile which is a mock up shape of the garment to get the perfect silhouette, and then go into the real cloth once this approved. We then do a couple of fittings in the real cloth, before delivering.

How do you see men’s and women’s fashion changing over the next few years?

I think there will be a turn against all the immediacy that is abundant at the moment. I already look after a group of women that invest in high end pieces that are really good, true value. They will keep these items for a lifetime, even pass them on.

I think that creating something unique has a value, as do the skills involved in creating something using traditional methods. Fast, throwaway fashion is just not sustainable and I think we will see an increase in having something specifically made for the client that is special, unique – and a true value.

If a young designer came to you and said they wanted to follow in your footsteps, what would be your advice?

I would suggest they get some good experience in the industry first. It’s really important to get an idea of the realities of working in this world. A lot of young designers don’t have a true idea of how much time is spent designing verses running the actual business which is so different from the creative world. Maybe working within a small company that already does what you aspire to is beneficial.

In a small company you can get an overview of all the areas. I would then advise that they speak with industry mentors. There are lots out there and they have been so helpful to me.

If you had to sum up your approach in three words, what would they be?

Creative, unique, instinctive.

Lisa, you have been running your own

Simon Cundey led the praises for Golden Shears 2017, saying it was, as usual, one of the highlights of the tailoring year. “This year was quite a melange of styling, very elegant styling and the quality was exceptional,” said Cundey, chairman of the Golden Shears and managing director at Henry Poole & Co.

Simon Cundey led the praises for Golden Shears 2017, saying it was, as usual, one of the highlights of the tailoring year. “This year was quite a melange of styling, very elegant styling and the quality was exceptional,” said Cundey, chairman of the Golden Shears and managing director at Henry Poole & Co.

Photographer Miro Arva went to No 6, Sackville Street, the longstanding traditional tailors’ building, to capture the new jacket produced by designer Lena McCroary. The jacket features embroidered pearl crocodiles, diamante fringing, gold work snakes and bees and an embellished peacock. Lena said: “All the embroideries were inspired by exceptional bejewelled treasures owned by opulent Mughal rulers. The idea for the peacock, for example, was taken from a brooch and hair ornament bought by Jagatjit Singh of Kapurthala when, on his way to Spain in around 1905, he fell head over heels for 16-year-old dancer Anita Delgado.

“The reaction to this collection has been extremely positive, I think the jackets capture people’s imaginations, and highlight the dreamlike fantasy and excessive luxury of how the kings of this period lived. Using classic tailoring materials such as Prince of Wales checks and tweeds, gives a very interesting juxtaposition when combined with the embroideries. Almost like two worlds coming together, east meets west.”

Photographer Miro Arva went to No 6,

By Daniel Evans

David Hockney is 80 in July but he has never been so popular – or worked so hard. The biggest exhibition of his work is now open at the Tate Britain and looks at his evolution from a student to become arguably Britain’s greatest living artist. Hockney, clearly moved by the public’s continued interest in his work, said after he helped choose the 250 pieces of artwork that will be on display: “Many of them seem like old friends to me now.”

This exhibition offers an unprecedented overview of the artist’s work to date. Presented as a chronological overview, it traces his development from the moment of his appearance on the public stage as a student in 1961, through to his iconic works of the 1960s and 1970s, and on to his recent success at the Royal Academy and beyond.

Looking around the exhibition before it opened, Hockney, who still paints every day and recently said he was in his most prolific period, said modestly:  “I made some quite good pictures, didn’t I?”

The show, which includes more than 100 works made over more than half a century, is the first major look at his career in almost 30 years. It includes sketches from his time at art school to works drawn on his iPad at home in California last year. In a recent newspaper interview he said: “When I’m painting I feel 30 but when I stop I feel older. I’m a bit slower than I was but I stand up to paint every day.”

He went on: “It has been a pleasure to revisit works I made decades ago, including some of my earliest paintings. Many of them seem like old friends to me now. We’re looking back over a lifetime with this exhibition, and I hope, like me, people will enjoy seeing how the roots of the new and recent work can be seen in developments over the years.”

The invention of Hockney’s classic works is explored, including his portraits of family, friends and himself, as well as his iconic images of LA swimming pools. It also includes his celebrated Yorkshire landscapes of the 2000s and work made since his return to California in 2013.

The exhibition, the fastest-selling in Tate history – 20,000 tickets were snapped up in advance – will also show how the artist has frequently changed his styles and way of working, embracing new technologies as he goes. For the first time this exhibition shows how the roots of each new direction lay in the work that came before. For example, his radical ‘joiner’ assemblages of photographs, such as the Pearlblossom Highway 1986, informed the paintings of his Hollywood home and the Californian landscapes that he made then and after.

Exhibition curator Chris Stephens had one question for Hockney when the pair of them began to put the exhibition together. “What do you want people to feel when they leave?” I asked him. To which he replied: ‘Joy. I’d like them to leave looking more closely at the world because there is a lot of pleasure to be had from looking more closely.’

“David is a hugely popular artist and rightly we should be putting on shows that people want to see. But at the same time it doesn’t mean there is not something very serious about what he does. The fact they are visually pleasurable doesn’t mean they are shallow.”

Alex Farquharson, director of the Tate Britain, said: “David Hockney is without doubt one of Britain’s greatest living artists. His practice is both consistent, in its pursuit of core concerns, while also wonderfully diverse. Hockney’s impact on post-war art, and culture more generally, is inestimable, and this is a fantastic opportunity to see the full trajectory of his career to date.”

Following the showing in London, the exhibition will travel to the Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

The David Hockney exhibition will be at Tate Britain in London until May 29. Adults £17.50. Under 12s free – up to four per family adult. Family tickets available.

By Daniel Evans David Hockney is 80 in