Fashion designer Amanda Wakeley has dressed everyone from royalty to stars of the big screen. She talks a love of travel linked with a passion for empowering design
Interview: Cheryl Caira
It depends on the season – mountains in the winter, sea in the summer. We have a house in Verbier in Switzerland, which is where we love to spend the winter months skiing. For the summer, it would be St Tropez, where our boat, Savannah is moored.
I would love to heli-ski in Alaska. My partner Hugh and I are very active and adrenalin junkies at heart. I also like big open spaces and otherworldly scenery, so Namibia and the Antarctic appeals too.
Thrill of adventure sports
There is something about being outdoors in the elements that challenges you – whether in the mountains or out at sea. You have to completely focus on the moment and what you are doing – which is very cathartic, not to mention essential if you are high on a glacier.
The Wakeley muse
I am constantly absorbing… people, places, nature, architecture, film, images. When creating a new collection, my design team and I draw on this and create a muse – our woman of the season. For AW17, the ‘Wakeley Woman’ explored Japan. We imagined our woman as the daughter of a French father and Japanese mother, raised European, who grows ever more intrigued by her Japanese descent. She spends fall exploring Kyoto and the surrounding regions and becomes captivated by the local culture, customs and history.
Understated luxury with a clean glam aesthetic – Siren Gowns for the evening and ‘luxe sportif’ for the day. This autumn, I’ll be wearing our easy, sports-inspired Alina ‘wide leg pant with my chunky knits or pleat back cashmeres.
Receiving my OBE in 2010.
I’m a woman designing for women and hope that my clothes make them feel empowered, confident and beautiful. I aspire to give all my customers that amazing feeling that you are the most beautiful version of yourself – whether on the school run, at a business meeting or at a fabulous event.
Dressing Diana, Princess of Wales
I was very lucky to enjoy a great relationship with Diana. She was an incredibly beautiful and iconic woman with a great sense of humour, who inspires so many people to this day.
A perfect day
It wouldn’t be so much about where I am or what I am doing, but with whom. It would be spending quality time with my partner, family and friends, and of course with my black Labrador, Lola. I feel so incredibly fortunate to be able to do what I love as a career, so it would also involve spending time in the studio and working on the next collection with my amazing team.
The next chapter
I want to continue developing my Lifestyle Luxury brand. We’re currently working hard on widening our accessories offerings, and have a new jewellery collection, home fragrance and sunglasses in development, which is very exciting.
The Amanda Wakeley AW17 collection featuring Phoebe Collings-James and Aimee Song is available at Harvey Nichols