“Keep it hard working without it looking overworked. Keep it sexy without it being vulgar. Keep it pure and simple without it being boring and put your entire heart into it and make it look effortless.”
Ben de Lisi is down to earth and an absolute pleasure to interview. The American fashion designer has been showing at London Fashion Week since 1994, won many British Fashion Council awards and created incredible evening dresses (Kate Winslet 2002 Oscars red dress, Helena Bonham Carter and Anjelica Huston among others). Ben de Lisi is also known for his collections with Debenhams and as a judge on Project Catwalk. Below are photos of his home. Ben loves cooking, painting, travelling and all of Truman Capote‘s books.
In a nutshell, what’s your philosophy?
Never overwork a design, keep it pure immaculate and modern. Always always think of the wearer.
What inspired you to get into fashion and design?
Not being able to afford a pair of trousers that I wanted, so my grandmother told me to just make them. The rest is history .
What was the first thing you ever designed?
That would have to be a pair of olive green corduroy drawstring trousers that I thought I desperately needed.
Looking back at your first project what knowledge do you wish you had back then?
I wish I had more patience. I am a very impatient man and I want everything done yesterday pushing yourself like that makes you sometimes loose sight of whats really important.
What is good taste to you?
Well that is a completely subjective question. For me it is really, really being true to yourself and doing whatever that might be with conviction joy and a smile .
How do you transform the ordinary into the extraordinary?
Multiples and great lighting.
What is your idea what the perfect home should feel like?
A haven that protects, nourishes, inspires and keeps you safe.
What’s the most interesting house you have ever seen?
That would be the glass house in Highgate in London… totally extraordinary .
What do you love to do when you are not designing?
Walk my dogs, paint, cook, travel, seek out 1950′s ceramics which I collect and spend time at my house in Ibiza.
A common misperception of you is…
…that I am not approachable and a snob ……….so far off the mark!!!
Your dream project?
Apart from designing for Julianne Moore it would be designing and building another house for my partner and I … but this time from the ground up.
Your favorite books?
I love all of Truman Capote ‘s books.
What does success mean to you?
It means being able to share and give without impediments.
My signature question – what are the most important design elements?
Keep it hard working without it looking overworked. Keep it sexy without it being vulgar. Keep it pure and simple without it being boring and put your entire heart into it and make it look effortless.
photos: Paul Massey, James Royall