Date that this item was entered on to the web-site: 27th April 2006.


Celia Birtwell, Sue Prichard and Sonnet Stanfill
Textiles designed by Celia Birtwell
Celia Birtwell's shop in West London

Interview with Textile Designer Celia Birtwell

The internationally acclaimed textile designer Celia Birtwell was interviewed in London in a joint project with staff from the V&A Museum's Fashion and Textiles Department. The interviewer was Sonnet Stanfill, V&A Curator of Contemporary Fashion.

Celia was described in a recent Guardian Weekend Magazine interview (08.04.2006) as a '60s textile print icon'. Her fabrics have been worn by Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones. After a decade of designing textiles for fashion, Celia opened her interiors textile business in the early 1980s. As an independent designer she established herself as an important part of London's design community. This summer vintage Birtwell prints will be released in a new range of women's clothes by the high-street retailer Topshop.

The interview took place at Celia's textile design shop in West London. She is due to hand over the reins of the business to her son and daughter-in-law later in the year so it was an excellent time to interivew her to record her feelings about her twenty or so years operating a textile design business. Celia will continue to design for the business.

Celia's textile designs have taken inspiration from the natural world and also from museum collections such as the V & A. Celia has donated a large collection of textiles for interiors to the V&A. These include 'Beasties', an important early Birtwell design based on a 16th century V&A textile.

Sue Prichard, Curator of Contemporary Textiles, was instrumental in setting up the interview and liaising with the NEVAC crew to make sure it all went smoothly.

Interviewer: Sonnet Stanfill.
Director: Matthew Partington.
Lighting cameraman: Ben Atkins.
Soundman: Dave Brookfield.