We ask the questions: Q&A with fashion doyenne Amanda Wakeley

Amanda Wakeley at homeWith a look book that’s generally considered to be the last word in British bridal elegance, Amanda Wakeley (OBE, if you don’t mind) is renowned for her fashion finesse (not to mention after-dark attire, if Beyoncé’s recent Vegas clubwear and Florence & the Machine‘s choice of performance get-up, below right, are anything to go by).

Florence Welch in Amanda WakeleySince we at Planet Smith already worship at the altar of Amanda and recently picked the design diva’s brains for her weekend packing guide, we thought we’d delve further and uncover a few of her travel secrets for you.

We managed to catch the ever-busy Amanda in a tiny window in her hectic schedule, somewhere between judging the Scottish Fashion Awards, designing her S/S 11 collection and launching the new Amanda Wakeley online wedding planner, a tool to help stylish brides plan their big day.

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What first inspired you to become a designer?

I have made clothes ever since I was a little girl… it’s something I’ve always done intuitively.

 

Which other designers or artists do you admire?

I love the work of both Madame Grès and Vionnet: women designing for women in the most innately feminine way. In terms of artists, I adore Rothko on the one hand; Tracey Emin is a friend, and I love some of her works, particularly one of the pieces in this year’s Summer Exhibition – the one that says ‘I love you but sometimes I don’t think’. I have also always enjoyed collecting black and white photography, and would love to own one of the large-scale Peter Beards.

Immodesty Blaize talks dirty weekends

Here at Mr & Mrs Smith we love Immodesty Blaize – not just for her looks, but also her travel savvy. While the glamorous burlesque star may not be the most inconspicuous guest, she was the ideal person for us to send incognito to review Il Salviatino in Florence. For more fantastic luxury travel advice, see p102 of the August issue of Country & Town House as Ms Blaize features in my monthly travel column for the glossy magazine. Meanwhile, here’s the uncut version of Immodesty’s globe-trotting fantasies…

Whisper to us your top tips for a sexy escape…
A dirty weekend is no time for budgeting – you’re going to be spending a lot of time in the hotel, not sightseeing, so splash out on the hotel. Go for romance and choose a room with an amazing bathroom or Jacuzzi, or a fabulous view. Even if it’s just a hut in the countryside, make it memorable. Imagine you’re in your own movie and play the part you’ve always dreamed of from start to finish. And, if you can, give yourself plenty of time to plan your weekend bag as travelling light is a strategic art, and you’ll want to feel your best.