Designer Amanda Wakeley on Why She Loves the Swiss Alps

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We live on the river Thames in London and the views are spectacular … you have a sense of being part of this incredible city but yet have a feeling of perspective and space. We make a point of never being in London at the weekends so we escape to the country, or to our home in Switzerland, or to sail around the Greek islands. I love to travel; staying fit and being active in the mountains and in nature feeds my creativity and curiosity. Hugh [Morrison Wakeley’s partner] and I love skiing and sailing our boat. We regularly cruise around the Greek islands where there are endless deserted coves and beaches with crystal blue water and white sand.

We have a home in Verbier in the Swiss Alps and spend as much time there as possible during the winter – it’s my favourite place. Verbier has the most amazing and varied skiing, and is surrounded by some impressive glaciers like the Rosa Blanche, Grand and Petit Combin and Trient which are great playgrounds for keen skiers. I’ve found that the strength of your core muscles makes a real difference to how well you ski, so I try to incorporate core-strengthening into my regime as well as plenty of lunges to build up my legs. While there are some fantastic skiwear designers out there, I think overly fashionable clothes on the slopes look too self-conscious. Cropped ski jackets might look cute, but the small of your back will end up freezing. I pack plenty of pure merino wool crew-neck T-shirts.

My off-duty default wardrobe is easy, wide-leg satin pants and something cashmere, a pair of sneakers and a customised vintage army parka. I love upcycling beautiful pieces with some of the ribbons we always use in the collection – it is a new service we are offering so you can “Wakeley-fy” your old favourites and give them a new life. I really believe we should be buying less but better and that our clothes should last. Travel has also informed my latest collection. At the start of each season, I always consider who the Wakeley Woman is, where she is travelling to and what her wardrobe needs are for her busy lifestyle. For AW19, black and ecru form the foundation colours of our Signature Collection. There is a timelessness yet a modernity in the combination – as long as these two colours are carefully balanced they will always remain relevant and sublimely chic; colour can always be added to lips, nails or accessories.

I am about to present our SS20 collection at London Fashion Week [September 13 – 17], Pre-Fall 20 is in development and we have started sketching for AW20. Alongside this we are starting work on all of the accessories for AW20. We are also working on a new collaboration due to launch later this year. It’s busy! www.amandawakeley.com

Amanda Wakeley is stocked at Harvey Nichols, Dundrum Town Centre.

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