Empowered, strong, feminine. This is how a woman’s wardrobe should make her feel, and that is the ethos around which Amanda Wakeley has built her eponymous label.
‘My company is fundamentally an extension of me,’ says Amanda, ‘a busy woman who wants every element of her life to be effortlessly stylish. I love a look that is at once sexy, athletic and chic.’
After working in New York as a model, Amanda returned to England in 1990 to open a boutique in Chelsea. Twenty-seven years later, and her designs have been worn by some of the world’s most stylish women – including Princess Diana, Kate Middleton and Prime Minister Theresa May – she has got three British fashion awards under her belt, an OBE for her services to the British fashion industry and has helped raise over £13.5m for Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, the charity she co-chairs.
Her signature ensemble blends classic British styles with sports luxe finishes, resulting in an eminently wearable look. In addition to her red carpet and renowned bridal offering there’s a ready-to-wear collection – cruise, summer, pre-fall and winter – two new accessories ranges, Legend, at the higher end, featuring exotic skins, and Monogram, at a more accessible price point and perfect for everyday use, both include handbags in beautiful leathers, jewellery and scarves.
Modern, refined women value quality and meticulous finishes. ‘I am passionate about my work and focus on every detail,’ says Amanda. ‘Sourcing the finest materials, embracing the challenges of using the latest crafting techniques and striving every day for unrivalled quality and perfection of cut.’ It’s the little touches – like a silk-lined cashmere jumper – that make a woman feel special, even if it’s only her that notices them. ‘For me, the inside is as important as the outside. Wearing Wakeley should make you feel gorgeous; confident in the knowledge that you look your best.’
There’s no better way to experience her clothes than by visiting the flagship store in Mayfair at 18 Albemarle Street, which is every bit as elegant as her collection with its grand sweeping staircase, installed in the 1920s by a couturier. Here you can try on the clean lines of this season’s collection for size. By day, mix contemporary refinement with tailored dresses and, by night, go for something slinky and silky, like one of the bias cut dresses. For occasions when you want to feel extra powerful, make it one of her unusually sexy tuxedos teamed with leather cigarette pants.
It’s the dexterity of the brand that makes it appealing to so many women. ‘I draw on my own experience to understand that sometimes you need to feel empowered by your clothes; at other times, cocooned and, at others, sensually swathed. I understand the importance of the essential pieces. The Wakeley woman is a multi-talented multi-tasker and my ambition is that every Wakeley customer always feels effortlessly stylish.’ We could all do with weaving a bit more of that magnetism into our wardrobes.
AMANDA WAKELEY 18 ALBEMARLE STREET, LONDON W1S 4HR +44 (0)20 7313 5280