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We meet the fashion designer Lulu Guinness, whose zest for London life never fades
What’s your house like? My house is jolly nice, but always falling to pieces. On the outside, it’s a white stucco townhouse; inside, it’s all about light, brightness and airiness, with huge sash windows and no curtains.
I live with lots of Perspex and fluorescent colour. I’d love to update the look every six months, but I’m just too busy to have the flowers and everything just so.
What’s your favourite thing in your home? I have a big black and white Fornasetti cabinet from Themes & Variations that I paid for in instalments – I love the sense of humour and Italian style. I have collections of powder compacts, busts of women and first-edition Cecil Beaton books with amazing covers.
Where do you shop for interiors? Technically, I don’t have room for more furnishings. I love Jonathan Adler and the first thing I did when he opened a London store was buy two of his sofas. I found a beautiful Andrée Putman black lacquer desk-meets-table in the Aram Store sale. I like The Rug Company and I go to The Conran Shop for fluoro candles. My driving force in life – and it’s an incredibly tiring way to be – is I never want anything that anyone else has, so I commission and I pick up things at design shows. I just bought some of Kristjana S Williams’s pieces at the Art Car Boot Fair. I’m not a purist – I just buy what I like.
Where do you shop for clothes? My favourite place is John Rocha on the corner of Dover Street. It’s just a great environment, with a beautiful edit of art and interesting books. I’ve got my eye on a black lace dress there.
What’s your favourite London restaurant? I’m afraid it’s my local Japanese takeaway Feng Sushi, or maybe the Indian on my corner. I’m not a foodie, however, I am looking forward to trying Ham Yard. I’ve always loved Claridge’s and we’ve just shot our autumn/winter campaign at Brown’s.
And what’s your favourite bar? I’ve got great kids and a lovely house – I don’t need to go out to bars. I wish my life was that glamorous, but most of the time, I’m working and being a mother.
Where do you find inspiration? I absolutely love museum and gallery shops, especially those linked to a specific exhibition. The Saatchi Gallery shop has great stuff, with a lightness of touch and sense of humour. Paul Smith’s shop on Albemarle Street is always worth keeping an eye on. My autumn/winter collection is inspired by my favourite artist, Matisse.
What’s your favourite local building? Somerset House can give me everything I want from a day out. It’s a beautiful building, with great restaurants, fascinating shows and the irresistible Rizzoli Bookshop.
What’s London’s main eyesore? I guess it’s the Barbican. I know I shouldn’t say that. I’ve tried to like it and I understand why other people like it, but I’m just depressed by the exterior. However, its Jean Paul Gaultier exhibition is one of the best hings I’ve seen in ages.
What should a first-time visitor to London do? Go to Tower Hill at night. When you exit the tube station, you see the most magical view of the Tower of London all lit up with Tower Bridge and the river behind.
What do you miss when you’re away from London? What depends on where I am. Of course, I always miss my children and my dogs most, but when I’m in places such as China and India, I long for trees and wide, quiet streets. You can never be bored in London. It’s the best of everything. Why would you ever leave?
Head to Lulu’s website for more info.