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Wendy Dagworthy

Kirsty Young talks to Wendy Dagworthy, who recently retired from her role as professor of fashion at the Royal College of Art.

Kirsty Young's castaway this week is the fashion designer, Professor Wendy Dagworthy.

During her time as Head of Fashion at both Central St Martins and The Royal College of Art she has taught students who've gone on to great success - Stella McCartney, Erdem and Antonio Berardi among them. Her skill lies partly in understanding the significance of a well cut pattern or a nicely turned seam, but also the warp and weft of a notoriously fickle industry.

At just 23, she was the toast of the catwalks with her own label selling round the world and worn by the likes of Bryan Ferry, Boy George and Mick Jagger. Dubbed 'the high priestess of fashion', her creative talent, however, wasn't recession-proof and her business went under in the late 80's. Given that reinvention is the lifeblood of fashion it seems she was tailor made for a new direction; collecting her O.B.E. in 2011 for services to the fashion industry, she wore a Perspex hat designed by a former pupil.

She says, "we want students to take risks - like we did when we were younger. There were no set rules, there was no one to follow - you just did it yourself."

Producer: Cathy Drysdale.

Available now

45 minutes

Music Played

  • Roxy Music

    Virginia Plain

    • The Best of Roxy Music.
    • VIRGIN.
  • Van Morrison

    Days Like This

    • Van Morrison: Still On Top – The Greatest Hits.
    • EXILE.
  • The Drifters

    Save The Last Dance For Me

    • The Best of Ben E. King & The Drifters.
    • DOMINION.
  • Culture Club

    Do You Really Want To Hurt Me

    • Culture Club Greatest Moments.
    • VIRGIN.
  • Al Green

    How Can You Mend A Broken Heart

    • Al Green Greatest Hits.
    • HI.
  • Traveling Wilburys

    Handle With Care

    • The Traveling Wilburys: Handle With Care / Margarita.
    • WILBURY.
  • CASTAWAY'S FAVOURITE

    • Bob Marley & The Wailers

      No Woman,No Cry

      • Live At The Lyceum.
      • TuFF GONG.
  • Grace Jones

    La Vie En Rose

    • Island Life.
    • ISLAND.
  • Book Choice

    • Raj Quartet by Paul Scott

  • Luxury Item

    • A case of red lipstick and a fridge to keep it cool

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Kirsty Young
Interviewed Guest Wendy Dagworthy
Producer Cathy Drysdale

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