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3 posts tagged "Amanda Wakeley"

Amanda Wakeley Wants You to Take a Second Look

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Amanda Wakeley

Yes, Amanda Wakeley has dressed the Royals—Kate Middleton and Princess Diana, to be exact. But the designer is capable of sartorial feats beyond monarchial moments. Her Fall ’14 collection is a testament to that.

Wakeley started her business twenty-four years ago. Her embellished eveningwear and clean, glam daywear have appealed to the posh Chelsea girl clientele and even drawn in A-listers like Angelina Jolie and Florence Welch. In 2008, Wakeley quietly resigned as creative director and stepped away a bit, only to come back in 2014, armed with new investment, a swank new Mayfair shop, and a ferocious attitude.

Fall ’14′s palette is rich but sparing—think a dark brown fur tunic and a “silver fox” print. A head-to-toe leather look spliced with a Matrix-esque coat projects an alpha female vibe. Kimono-like jackets and blouses have bracelet sleeves, perfect to show off tough studded cuffs, while “judo” belt details on a leather skirt teamed with a netted crop top require heaps of confidence. Wakeley’s Fall looks are more severe than those of seasons past. But, a keen businesswoman, she’s not abandoning her loyal clientele—her classic styles are still offered via her Atelier, Bridal, and jewelry lines. Wakeley also introduces swimwear this season, a natural step given her following of jet-setters. Although after this outing, her fan base is sure to expand.

Photo: Courtesy Photo

Twenty-Four Years Later, Amanda Wakeley Gets Her Mayfair Dream Store

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Elizabeth Hurley and Amanda WakeleyOne of the few who has dressed both Kate Middleton and Princess Diana, never mind a passel of stars including Angelina Jolie, Scarlett Johansson, Florence Welch, and more, Brit designer Amanda Wakeley is a twenty-four-year veteran in the business. At her celeb-dense shop opening last night on London’s Albemarle Street, she described how she’s seen the fashion landscape in The Smoke change over the years.

“It is very competitive now, and there is a much greater choice of outstanding products at all levels of the market—plus the customer is far more discerning.” Wakeley also believes designers have stepped up their marketing game. “There is much more awareness of brand DNA—an integral part of building a successful business.”

Despite having a career and longevity most designers could only dream of, Wakeley insists that now is the most exciting time for her, especially with achieving a lifelong ambition of opening a Mayfair shop. This one is even Grade 2 listed, which means, in Brit speak, that it has historical significance. “It is such a privilege to be in a building with such heritage and structure…the staircase was put in by a couturier in the twenties, and I just knew this was the space for us.”

Tracey Emin, Liz Hurley, Elizabeth Saltzman, the BFC’s Caroline Rush, and more crushed into the shop that Wakeley says is representative of the “beginning of a new era for us.” Next on the docket is a return to the London fashion week schedule after a few seasons’ hiatus.

So after dressing the crème de la crème, who is left on her wish list? “Well, I do think Jennifer Lawrence has a wonderful look.” We have a sneaking suspicion the star will be wearing Dior to the Oscars, but who knows what the red carpet may bring.

Yea, Nay, Or Eh? The Ombré Goes On

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After more than a year of seeing little besides Avatar blue, we can’t blame Zoe Saldana for wearing anything but. The Dominican actress wore a lovely light orange in the DR last night to scoop up her Casandra Award for the most outstanding artist abroad. We loved her ombré gown by the English designer Amanda Wakeley (hat tip to Red Carpet Fashion Awards for the tough ID), which traded the drama of her Givenchy Oscar gown (another ombré look) for a slightly more streamlined, elegant look. The flowing drape really suits her, and here’s a cinched waist (unlike some we’ve noticed recently) we can get behind. She finished the look with little more than a gold bangle and a few rings, including one, unusually, on her thumb—almost a Na’vi touch. So what you do think? Is coral her color?

Photo: Kena Betancur / Reuters