IN SESSION: Bruce Oldfield is not a fashion designer. At least, that’s what he claimed on Thursday evening at an intimate talk at Parsons The New School for Design. “I consider myself to be a clothes designer,” he said. “I never really liked the name ‘fashion.’ Fashion suggests that it will be out of fashion in six months’ time. That’s just the way it is.” Joining former protégé Jonathan Kyle Farmer, now associate professor of fashion design at Parsons, for a candid conversation, Oldfield drew in a classroom full of old friends, including former models Carla Lamonte and Alva Chinn, fashion fans and Parsons students.

Oldfield expanded on a range of education-focused topics, ranging from potential career paths to the debate of unpaid internships, as well as his own career milestones, including dressing Princess Diana. “You learn how to deal with people,” Oldfield said of the latter. “People say, ‘How do you deal with the royal family?’ You just know that you call her ‘your royal highness,’ and then you call her ‘ma’am.’ You don’t call her Diana or Camilla or Elizabeth.…Can you imagine calling the queen Elizabeth? You would never.”

This story first appeared in the March 11, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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