Sex is autumn's hottest colour, says Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen
© Zak Hussein PA Archive Press Association Images
What are you up to right now?
I'm spreading the love, literally. It's incredibly important that as a generation, as a nation, we fall in love with our living rooms again. We've seen our homes as a price tag for far too long, thanks to estate agents. What we really want and need is a cocoon to escape into, an escape from the endless grey world outside.
Fashion looks ridiculous at the moment, we need to recharge our batteries when it comes to fashion - and with the interiors of our homes. We need to have design that indulges us, that treats us with its sexiness. That's the inspiration behind my new collection for Littlewoods, I wanted to create a happy state for people to relax in.
Is there a big colour trend that we should watch out for this autumn?
The really amazing colour trend is going to be SEX. I mean blacks and purples, sumptuous golds - and definitely not beige.
The top five selling books at the moment are all about sex- and I don't mean pornography, I mean literary erotica. People are wanting to be glamorous grown-ups, they're not wanting to be sniggering little school children any more. We want to be much more elegant and give ourselves a mark in life, an identity. We've been shuffling around in Uggs and Crocs for far too long. Erotica is the key in unlocking something in us sexually. Sexy people are happy people, they are outgoing people who have confidence in themselves and this is the force behind all of that erotic fiction. We all need fifty shades of erotica. It's not porn, it's fiction. It's a sex gym but it's cultured sex and that's coming through in fashion now - and in my collection, of course. It's not bump and grind LA style but naughty grown-up erotic sex.
There's an enormous cover up going on right now in fashion and it's unbelievably sexy. Five years ago there was an obsession with body con, where nothing was left to the imagination with tight Lycra dresses that revealed everything. Now there's a very strong feeling coming through of covered sexiness, with longer hemlines and loose chiffons. It's about sophisticated sexuality, not sluttish availability. Thank god for the double dip recession, it has given women the confidence to dress as screen sirens, as goddesses and icons again.
Will you be going to Fashion Week?
I won't be going this year because I'm in Australia. Though personally I only ever wear William Hunt and Jeffrey West does all of my boots and accessories. All of my inspiration comes from my travels but I do keep a close eye on the couture shows. I love Prada and Fendi - and Burberry and Henry Holland are my favourites of the British designers.
What are your favourite pieces from your collection for Littlewoods?
There's a wonderful range - a mini collection within the collection - called Femme Fatale. It's based on the 1940s and is all very film noir, a lot of pattern making with mauves, greys, golds and blacks. There's one rug with a big rose in the middle that I love because it is based on an oil painting that I did many years ago. That's what I love about this collection, it brings together a lot of my previous work, the oil paintings and sketches that I've done through the years, including some of the drawings that I did for the Blackpool Illuminations a few years ago. It all has that personal DNA that you get at Fashion Week with the couture collections from the fashion designers.
Back in the 1970s, Biba created an amazing lifestyle statement in interiors before lifestyle statements really existed. The designer behind it, Barbara Hulanicki, is a really liberating designer and she allowed our parents' generation to really engage with their sexuality, which is something we should be bringing back into design today.
© Ian West PA Archive Press Association Images
What's your home like?
My own home is an extension of who we are as family. It's chaotic and very messy. There's not a single surface without an embellishment on it, whether it's Colombian pottery or kitsch from Santa Monica. It's an extension of my mind, if it was turned inside out and transformed into an installation. We live in a 17th century mansion in the Cotswolds but it's covered in B&Q wallpaper.
What is it about your job that you love so much?
I don't really do any work for a living, which is wonderful. I don't really have a job, I just live the kind of life I want and I'm outrageously lucky that people give me money for it.
Without my wife Jackie running the show I would be stuck. My work, my family, (Laurence has two teenage daughters) she runs it all, she's the chief at home and in the business. We have a very good relationship because she has an incredibly creative business mind and I have a very commercial take on creativity. We are two circles that overlap and we've created a business out of the things we like doing: reading the trends and deciding the trends. People should never sit and follow what everyone else does.
If we bought one thing to be on trend this autumn, what should it be?
One thing? That would have to be the entire collection I've done for Littlewoods. You can pay for it on a monthly basis, so it's very possible.
Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen's collection is available at Littlewoods now.