You’ve known Peter and Gerard for over a decade now. When did you start talking about collaborating together?
For years after I graduated, I worked in fashion design, not art. I was deciding what to do next—I realized I wasn’t really a designer—when Peter and I began talking about his new collection inspired by Tina Barney. I just love her photographs and said, ‘I would love to do something for your show.’ So I did his backdrop. After that, I realized I didn’t have to find a job in fashion. That was the first example of my [signature] type of work.
You’re famous for those trompe l’oeil wallpaper illustrations. Where do they come from?
I’m from this little town Bungay in Suffolk, where you can get free rolls of paper because the big industry there is book-printing for Penguin Books. So every time my parents had a party, we would get this paper, staple it to the walls and ceilings and just draw over it. So my creating that kind of scale partly comes from that.
Were you familiar with Peter’s fall inspiration?
I haven’t actually read any Muriel Spark, but I’ve known Miss Jean Brodie as a cliché in my mind. As a child, I had this really charismatic teacher and my parents and their friends were, like, ‘You’ve got to be careful. She reminds me of Miss Jean Brodie.’
What does the runway backdrop look like?
A very typical British school room with that specificity of architecture—that late Victorian period. There are all the incidental things of an environment that, as a child, you’re looking at: the parquet floors, the Victorian cornices, the pipes and cracks in the walls. I also drew a section of the floor that’s strewn with newspapers and they’re real papers, half from New York and half from London.
Were you inspired by your own elementary school?
Yes, I wanted it to be an actual school instead of an art-directed, stylized school. I actually called my school, Lyndhurst primary school, and they let me go there and take photographs. The secretary actually remembered me when I called, which really freaked me out.