“Straightforward and functional” is a term that can easily describe Amanda Wakeley’s latest collection. Fall 2016 marked the designer’s 26th year in business and she celebrated her achievement by producing an offering that played into her unapologetically luxurious lifestyle with a utilitarian twist. “I’m a big believer in wearing beautiful things everyday – pounds per wear,” Ms. Wakeley explained, noting that despite this she, “didn’t want it to get theatrical.” That translated into an offering of clothing that was functional and sophisticated but oh so luxurious.
The designer cited “a medieval, Nordic spirit” and contemporary sportswear among her inspirations. There was a cool, laid back glamour to this collection, which placed the focus directly on Ms. Wakeley’s signature languid shapes. Luxurious materials- silks, satin, fur and ultrasoft leather— were all worked into clean, unfussy silhouettes; a move that imbued her pieces with modern, real-world appeal.
Everything was eye-catching: mink hooded sweatshirts, leather jogging trousers, astrakhan sweaters with knitted arms, cashmere skirts, fur vests, coats and pinched- hem trousers in velvet and crushed silk. There were leather tunics, velvet vests, billowing blouses and trousers in silk chiffon, tweed suits, hooded cashmere sweaters and vintage- styled bomber jackets. Fur played a big role in the collection, appearing throughout the lineup in the form of fuzzy stoles and cowls of fox and mink, and in a series of fabulous coats with huge furry arms and matching collars.
The glamour was intensified for night, with a selection of sleek cocktail dresses and evening gowns appearing toward the end of the show. Beautifully streamlined, the urban edge Ms. Wakeley aimed for was felt most heavily here: silk sheafdresses and chiffon gowns were cinched at the waist with wrapped leather belts, fluid column gowns were split with thigh- high slits and cutouts along the arm, neckline and hips. Sweeping silk skirts were worn over black tank tops and sweaters and even diaphanous gowns covered in sparkling beads and embroidery were toughened up with chain detailing and cinched active wear- inspired sleeves. Those gowns were easily some of the best pieces within the collection and were simply spectacular.
Fall 2016 was a great show for Amanda Wakeley and one that brand followers are certain to love- she is one designer who knows her customers and caters specifically to their tastes with every season. She designs for a modern woman whose clothing must be able to transition with their changing schedules, and Ms. Wakeley’s designs fit their needs perfectly with pieces that are timeless, versatile, tasteful and incredibly chic.
With that said, looking over the show it’s pretty clear that Amanda Wakeley’s Fall 2016 offering is a collection that will appeal to consumers outside of her established following. Professional women will love her ample selection of work-wear appropriate separates and sleek evening wear, while her new sports- lux pieces will appeal directly to younger buyers looking for interesting new wardrobe additions.
Fall 2016’s collection relays Ms. Wakeley’s vision of a “contemporary warrior” perfectly. The new sportswear accent to her work increases the versatility and wearability of her designs, infusing her classic look with a cutting- edge hardness that’s very fresh. I’m a big fan of these pieces, particularly the leather track trousers and luxe hoodies!
It was a great show!
Xx – Ana