BIBA founder and design legend
Clash Magazine March 2013 - Swan Song Barbara Hulanicki

How would you spend your last day alive? Design legend and BIBA founder Barbara Hulanicki will be giving everything away!

Where would you like to wake up?
Definitely my own bed. I have to - it’s going to be a very busy day

What would you like to achieve on your last day?
I would need a terrible lot of cash because I’d have to go and give all the tramps that come off the beach and the homeless, leave lots of cash bundles because they sleep in the doorways, it’s terribly sad. Then I’ll rush home and tidy everything up and throw away all my old clothes and old shoes and take them down to the charity shop. It’s going to be very satisfying.

How would you like to spend your afternoon?
I’ll fill my fridge up with champagne and send everybody I know an invitation to a party when I’m gone. Then I spend my afternoon on the websites buying people presents online, lots and lots of presents to everybody that I can think of. I won’t leave any debts though.

You host a Last Supper: who's coming?
Jennifer Saunders and Joanna Lumley dressed as Absolutely Fabulous. Fellini, I would like. Daniel Craig, George Clooney, Fred Astaire. Let me think, I guess I better get a few more women in. Okay, Audrey Hepburn and, terribly important, Esther Williams.

What’s on the menu?
We’re going to eat lots and lots of salt and sugar. Everything that’s really bad for you.

What is the last song you would like to hear?
Grace Jones’ ‘La Vie En Rose’. It gets a bit sad though, a bit weepy. I don’t want anything weepy really, but not necessarily. It’s quite nice.

What would be your biggest regret?
I think that one was quite often too shy to do certain things. You miss a lot of opportunities really because, you know, you didn’t come forward.

What would your deathbed confession be?
Oh, I’m not going to tell you that one.

What would your final words be?
“Come on, get on with it!”

How are you going to die?
Oh, I tell you, this is going to be really exciting. I’m going to rent a jetski, take a couple of bottles of champagne with me, and I’m going straight out to sea and I’m going to tie bits of steak around my ankles, so that when you go in, the sharks come and get you. So there’s no mess whatsoever anywhere.

Who would you like to meet at the Pearly Gates of Heaven?
My sister’s there and my Dad is there, which is going to be a party in itself, which will be fantastic.

Describe your vision of Heaven.
I think it’s very, very floaty. There’s a lot of, sort of, flying around, yeah.

If you could be resurrected the next day, what would you come back as, and why?
I would like to come back as a man because I would like to know what men really feel at times when women are having a hormonal fit. I feel very sorry for men.


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