Amanda Wakeley Strides in a New Direction in her A/W’13 collection

by Katie on April 9, 2013

Say the name Amanda Wakeley and you immediately think just-so, overtly simple, glamorous evening wear sold from a smart boutique in London’s Fulham Road – the nice end, naturally. Near South Kensington. Full of white stuccoed houses and lively Polo type bars like PJ’s, filled with red corded or chino wearing men and highlighted blondes who have the affliction to bray slightly too much.
Amanda Wakeley has been nicely typecast as the wealthy Home Counties-decamped-to-London gal’s evening wear of choice. Nicely glam enough to be sophisticated yet utterly simple enough never to yell stand-out. That would be simply too much and not terribly cricket nor Tatler. But something has changed at HQ Wakeley and for the better.
Amanda Wakeley has a new CEO and, it appears, a whole new marketing and business direction. The clothing and accessories that I perused at a recent A/W’13 preview were, dare I say it, bearing on trend and ticking lots of boxes in terms of fashion relevance as well as downright red-carpet appropriate. 
The niche Amanda Wakeley couture line stood out. Well, it would. These items are priced between £4-13k each and make quite the lasting impression. Hand-beading, intricate embroidery, fine needlework, glorious floor-length feather trims…these are the things that princesses with poise’ dreams are made of. These make-an-impression at a star-filled event dresses will deliver plentiful photo opportunities and admiring comments.

The rest of the collection is equally as surprising in that it made me think thrice about the label. Of course there were the famous column dresses and the Swarovski beading in parts, but there were on trend coloured fur trims, kaftan style tops and dresses, sumptuous capes and the smartest, well-cut, neat trousers. Amanda is baiting the hook for a new, very hip, very London type of girl who’s Made-in-Chelsea with a hint of Shoreditch. But just the merest hint. She might have played once or twice at Shoreditch House. More Mischa Barton than Rita Ora.

The A/W’13 collection remains grounded in Amanda’s notion of ‘Clean Glam’…her brand’s interpretation of a chic, modern woman and how she styles herself for both work and play.

Separates become hero pieces both for day and evening; pieces that will instantly update an existing wardrobe such as a cinnamon crombie or trouser in weighty stretch wool. The winter statement is made with a ¾ sleeve coat in luxurious petrol blue sheared fur or in a Pearl Lamb and Kalgan combination. Similarly, evening separates are worn dressed down with cashmere and lofty jersey, which pays reference to the roots of the brand; a delicate tulle maxi skirt is teamed with an off the shoulder cashmere top. The wool jersey maxi dress defies occasion; Amanda says wear with biker boots for the day and dress up with fur for glamorous relaxed evenings supping cocktails.

The colour palette consists of Black, Ecru, Mineral, Charcoal and Grey marl, combined with Cinnamon, Berry and Spice to add warm accents whilst Baltic and Petrol add Russian aloof coolness.

She’s on a roll is this new Amanda. One to keep our eyes on. A catwalk show would do her and London justice.

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