if being a parent is the toughest job in the world, teaching surely comes second. i used to teach when i was younger and it was bitter sweet: the kids were always great and i would always reach a decent level of understanding with them. my problems came from the adults: the parents and the other teachers. they often looked down on the kids and even on me, they felt that their age guaranteed them some kind of superiority. in my book, respect needs to be earned. it was a sad circle: they looked down on kids and kids had no love or understanding for them. i also realized that during my 18 years of schooling, i rarely felt inspired by my teachers. and this, too, is very sad. i admit that the thankless teaching career isn’t appealing and in my country it’s even worse than in most others. in a society which doesn’t value education, being a teacher (or a student) sucks…

i wish i had a teacher like louise wilson. i don’t mean i wish i went to st. central martins college or art. i mean i wish i had a teacher who could look at me and see whatever that was good in there and who would do their best to bring it out.

she is not your regular ironed shirt and pencil skirt type of teacher, but a ballsy, foul-mouthed woman with a very black sense of humour who, some people say, may very well be the most influential figure in english fashion. she taught, among many others, giles deacon, christopher kane, and alexander mcqueen. she loves her students with the kind of tough-love that raises the hairs on the back of their necks and brings tears to theirs eyes, but, when they graduate, they miss her and speak in the best of terms about her. alber elbaz, although not a former student, thinks so highly of her she sends her boxes full of lanvin jewelry when necessary. with a very no-nonsense approach to fashion, she helps students along the glamorous but difficult path they chose.

and, last but certainly not least, in order to recognize her efforts, the queen awarded her the order of the british empire.

and I think this is a pretty good moral to my post…

for more info, interview one and two.

photo credits: vogue.com