The textile designer’s exuberant patterns for Ossie Clark epitomised ‘60s and ‘70s London fashion, and in recent years she has returned to the fore with collections for Topshop and John Lewis.
‘I was quite taken aback but at the same time hugely flattered and honoured to receive such recognition,’ Birtwell told us of receiving the letter announcing her award.
‘I have always loved designing, never seeing it as work, a means to an end, or a chore. It is what keeps me energised and challenged on a daily basis and so to be awarded a CBE for something that is already a pleasure for me is simply wonderful.’
Also honoured with MBEs for their services to the industry are prolific fashion writer Sarah Mower and ASOS founder Nicholas Robertson.
Elsewhere, Colin Firth received a CBE with respect to his services to drama, and artist Sam Taylor-Wood was made an MBE for her work in the arts. In the beauty sphere, Nails Inc founder Thea Green received an MBE.
Honourees will meet the Queen to receive their medallions later this year. Despite inevitable nerves about etiquette and outfit-planning, Birtwell expressed sheer delight at the prospect.
‘I'm sure everyone secretly desires an invitation to the Palace and I am no exception. I am really looking forward to meeting Her Majesty.’