My Secret Life: Giles Deacon, fashion designer, 39


My parents were ... and always have been incredibly supportive of what I do. I'm very lucky.

The house/flat I grew up in ... was a very jolly and happy house. There was plenty of laughter, the sort of place you could never feel alone.

When I was a child I wanted to be ... a zoo-keeper. My favourite animals were newts. I am really fascinated by animals – in particular I like insects and now as an adult I take a lot of my inspiration from them. Or if not a zoo-keeper, then I would have liked to have been a marine biologist.

If I could change one thing about myself ... it would be to be more disciplined in designating time for myself in order to draw. I find it really relaxing.

You wouldn't know it but I'm very good at ... using a potter's wheel. The last thing I made was an ashtray.

You may not know it but I'm no good at ... cooking. Or maybe it's just that the contents of my fridge are not very inspiring. I can be away on business for days on end and then I'll come home to an old carrot and some pasta.

At night I dream of ... DayGlo ninja dinosaurs.

What I see when I look in the mirror ... I see a happy 39-year-old Giles.

My favourite item of clothing ... are happy colourful socks and Tom Ford boxer shorts.

I wish I'd never worn ... tweed in summer, and I wish I had worn socks with my wellies at Glastonbury. Ouch, wellie chaff.

It's not fashionable but I like ... Nando's chicken restaurant. We have one just around the corner from the studio.

I drive/ride ... a custom-made bike from the 14 Bike Co, it's mint-coloured and goes everywhere with me, apart from when I have to travel abroad.

My house is ... in need of new lightbulbs. They are the sort of thing that I never remember to buy and then I have to rattle around in the dark.

My favourite work of art ... at the moment is the photography of the late Irving Penn, especially his portraits and fashion pictures.

My favourite building ... in London is the Sir John Soane's Museum in Lincoln's Inn. I cycle past and try to stop in whenever I can; I find it very inspiring.

A book that changed me ... is 'Ways of Seeing', John Berger's collection of essays about art and visual imagery.

Movie Heaven ... 'Teenwolf' – it's a classic.

The last albums I bought/downloaded ... were Hacienda acid-house classics. They remind me of being at a rave Up North.

My secret crush ... is a pair of velvet monogrammed slippers.

My greatest regret ... is not owning an exercise bike that travels back in time. If I did I would go back to the Jurassic period.

My real-life villain ... No time for villains. Life is far too short.

The person who really makes me laugh ... is Lily Allen. She never fails to get a smile out of me.

The last time I cried ... was in the swimming pool. I stubbed my toe getting out.

My five-year plan ... is to have fun working and keep on moving.

What's the point? The Point is a great hotel in the Adirondacks in Upstate New York. It's beautiful and the point would be to go back.

My life in six words ... super/smashing/ great/thanks/for/asking.

A life in brief

Giles Deacon was born in Darlington in 1969 and now lives in Islington, north London. After training at Central Saint Martins, he designed for various fashion houses before launching his own label, Giles, in 2003. He won Best New Designer at the British Fashion Awards a year later. Deacon has created the Isklar Tote bag, of which only 100 are available to buy online at gilesdeacon isklar.com from November onwards. The bags cost £95 and 50 per cent of proceeds go to Oxfam

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