“I am a typical Virgo I am very critical of my work, I am also a perfectionist”, declares Amanda with a big smile on her face. I can clearly see that Amanda Wakeley is definitely a woman of many talents, and as far as fashion designers are concerned she gets my vote every time.
I met her yesterday evening at a special intimate event at her flagship store on the Fulham Road in London, which she organised specially to meet and talk to bloggers about her brand and also about her new AW2012-2013 collection.
It’s difficult not to warm up to Amanda, she is easy going and extremely welcoming, she was also on time for her interview, (which is very rare in the fashion circles).
Dressed in a pair of skinny jeans which she teamed up with a gorgeous navy blazer, Amanda is a breath of fresh air, I can sense a hint of America’s East Coast in her style, which I am guessing she must have picked when she lived in the States before she set up her label in the 1990s. According to Amanda she got into fashion design after she came back from the USA when she found that there was a gap in the British market for elegant and stylish clothes for busy working women.
Her success came fast and sweet, when one of the world’s biggest fashion icons of the time, the late Diana, Princess of Wales became a fan of her creations. And today the legacy of Diana carries on in the face of a new young Royal, Catherine, the Duchess of Cambridge. Amanda is very grateful and flattered by the opportunity, she also reminds me that her success did not always come easy and that she had to fight tooth and nail for her business.
Her face lights up when I ask her about the inspiration behind her next season’s collection, she says that her key inspirations were taken from historical undergarments and armoury after having paid a particular attention to the beautiful imagery from the book ‘Underwear and Armour’.
This season’s eveningwear colours and tones are rich Cedar green and Tsavorite, she also used warm tones of Mulberry, grape and Sapphire.
For her daywear, she updated the iconic sculpted scuba style by introducing contrast mesh panel. I love the feminine silhouette she’s tried to create with her collection; the clothes are beautiful and flattering for any body shape.
Amanda’s sense of style is flawless and timeless, so I couldn’t help but ask her to name me 5 items for a perfect capsule wardrobe. Unsurprisingly, Amanda’s answer was: a tailored feminine jacket, an elegant coat and three ’18 hours’ dresses’ which she explained are the dresses that take a woman from morning to evening and from an office to a party.
“There are so many things which I still would like to do and achieve on a professional level and also on a personal level” she says. She is actually working on building her label into a successful lifestyle brand, including jewellery and accessories. Her bridal wear is also a success story and she would like to grow it even more. And as far as the online market is concerned, Amanda is a keen player and is extremely excited to expand her brand globally through the internet. On a personal note she loves sailing, and is looking forward to having more time for her sporty activities.
Are we going to see Amanda Wakeley showcasing at London Fashion Week this September? “I am afraid not, I am trying to move my business into a different direction, by going through new marketing channels, for example we produced a beautiful look book of all this season’s looks targeting the consumer and also the buyers, we also do private events where we invite members of the press to view our collection, this in my opinion is more effective in terms of media coverage.”
Written and Compiled by Hala Di-Maio
Hala Di-Maio with Amanda Wakeley at her flagship store on the Fulham Road in London – Photo by: Serene Haddad Sayles
Amanda Wakeley RTW AW 2012-2013 collection images from www.amandawakeley.com