My London: Diane Houston – Founder of Gilda & Pearl

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Diane Houston is a London-based lingerie/nightwear designer and Creative Director. Since graduating from the London College of Fashion, Diane has gained awards both for her work in lingerie design and for her achievements in fashion business.

Diane is also the founder of luxury lingerie and loungewear brand Gilda & Pearl. Driven by Diane’s eye for fabrics, finish and detail, and inspired by her love of golden age Hollywood glamour, Gilda & Pearl is the essence of Diane’s personal aesthetic and vision. The brand is made as ethically as possible, entirely in the UK.

Gilda & Pearl is stocked in the best stores in the world, including Harrods, Bergdorf Goodman, and Barneys New York. A firm press and celebrity favourite, the brand has been worn by Kylie Jenner, Naomi Campbell and Kendall Jenner to name a few.

We caught up with Diane for the latest in our ‘My London’ series.


Favourite neighbourhood:

Gilda & Pearl began life as a stall selling a selection of vintage and handmade lingerie and lounge. I still love Notting Hill, for it’s atmosphere, vintage finds and beautiful colours. Camden passage on a Saturday is also a favourite haunt.


Favourite place for brunch:

My local – Trade on Essex road. The coffee is good, and they’re dog friendly.


Best coffee in London:

I can’t resist a coffee at Sketch. It’s like an oasis of calm and creativity in the city. It’s a little bit cheeky too.


Favourite gallery or museum:

Definitely the V&A, I always feel inspired after a visit. I’ve been lucky enough to see their vintage lingerie and loungewear archive too.


Tell us a secret:

If you must, hand-washing silk instead of dry-cleaning really isn’t such a crime. Just keep the water cool, never wring and be sure to use a Woolmark safe, gentle detergent.


Favourite place to shop:

There are so many beautiful things in Liberty, and always something new to see. They have a great stationary department – and the florist and incredible building are added bonuses that I can never resist.


Favourite place to find inspiration:

Vintage film is a huge inspiration for me – I cannot get enough of the BFI. We’re so lucky to have somewhere like it in our city.


Best London destination for a date:

I love the cocktails at Vanilla Black in Holborn.


Favourite park:

I’m a huge fan of green space – so Hampstead heath is the favourite for me and George, my dog. He’s very fluffy, so loves a good breeze on Parliament Hill.


Favourite food market:

Borough market can’t be beaten, especially on Christmas eve.


Your sanctuary in the city:

The little-known New River Walk in Islington is tucked behind busy Essex road – it’s so beautiful and peaceful that you forget you’re in the city – a little bit of countryside in London.


What inspires you?

Vintage films, books, anything creative…Also fabrics. There are some great fabric, lace and trim suppliers in Fitzrovia, and I always feel inspired after a visit.


This season I’m loving:

Silk slips as outerwear! Especially with trainers.


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