An Interview with Dilys Williams

Judges Interviews

Dilys Williams

What is the single most interesting brief you’ve worked on during your career?

Shared Talent, a project that I conceived to bring together and share collective wisdoms and which enabled me to set up a centre for sustainable fashion. This project had a number of iterations in various geographical locations and I am delighted to say that some of the participants of this early project are now well-established designers whose ethos continues to focus on social and environmental considerations.

Who has been your biggest influence?

Goodness, I am so privileged to be able to work with incredible people who inspire, support and encourage me through their honesty, care and integrity. Working with Katharine Hamnett on her collections ignited a deep questioning of what I was doing as a designer. I am hugely grateful to her for what this has opened up in my mind.

My fellow CSFers influence me to smile, to rise to the challenges before us and to savour each moment and without Professor Frances Corner, Pro Vice Chancellor at London College of Fashion’s leadership of the discipline of fashion and her guidance and trust in me, I would not have been able to do what I am doing.

And my magical influence is my partner whose consummate wisdom carries me forward when all about me appears intractable, who reminds me that we can only do what we believe to be the best thing that we can do.

What advice would you give a student today?

University is a place where you learn more about who you are and your relationship with others and the world – so go do that – find out as much as you can about who you are, what the world is, the wonders of humans and of nature and find the ways in which you can best express your ideas. I would suggest that you consider what you really really care about and then apply who you are to the caring of what is important to you.

In this culture of fear and cautiousness, what is the future of design?

The future of design is fearlessness and risk taking and that’s what we need to create great ideas – based on what we really wish for the world.

What is it about this initiative that has inspired you to get involved?

Openheartedness and creative imagining is what we need and this initiative encourages that in a spirit of collective futures. Creative Conscience is a lifeblood for future visioning.

How does your creative conscience express itself in your work?

It wakes me up in the morning, keen to take my work forward into the day. It questions me at regular intervals, makes me listen better, look more closely, concentrate with more focus. It’s what keeps me on my toes.