Modern textile and clothes designs are so bland Students think, "I can make designs on a computer now, so I don't have to do be able to draw or design the old-fashioned way." But it isn't old-fashioned; it's really important that initial designs come from your head and your hand, so you can express the feelings and emotions that humans can give. Computers are not capable of that.

Finding [her late ex-husband, the fashion designer] Ossie Clark was fate There was a unison between his work and mine: his pieces were architecturally correct, while my prints added a layer of softness. People told me it gave them a kind of magic.

Topshop brought me to the attention of a younger generation I'm very appreciative of that, but we had no idea of the reaction [the capsule collections] would get – they ended up limiting buyers to no more than three dresses at a time.

You have to embrace's people funny little ways I'm not very technical, particularly with computers, which I know irritates people.

I've learnt a lot from [my close friend] David Hockney's bohemian lifestyle He doesn't accept rules and over the years he's given me the confidence to believe in myself.

We've had all the famous painters in the world we're going to have We don't have to relate to people through painting any more; we can do it through films, photography or other art forms.

We don't have many funny people around now But Laurel and Hardy make my granddaughter laugh like a drain. She's nine. Those slapstick jokes never go out of style.

Pottering around is my guilty pleasure I like a day to myself to see an exhibition or do a bit of gardening.

Autumn is my favourite season It's not too hot and I love that light you get at the moment, a lovely golden glow. Right now my pussycat is sitting on the grass, his eyes are closed and he's loving the sun.

Celia Birtwell, 70, is a fashion and textiles designer. 'Celia Birtwell' (£30, Quadrille), written with Dominic Lutyens and documenting her work and life, is out now

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