During this moment of Pause I have cherished the time to reflect… I particularly love doing this while I am exercising outside… (it’s also where I tend to come up with some of my best ideas…) so in this time of being separated from our family and friends I am sure we are all thinking about them a little more… I have also found myself reflecting on my 30 years in business and some of my friends through the journey… I first met Kelly Hoppen (who probably needs no introduction, she of Interior Design cult status not to mention her numerous other brilliant achievements) at a dinner hosted by a mutual friend… anyway, to cut a long story short I created her wedding outfit around 30 years ago… I remember it well and loved the look with Kelly’s tumbling Titian curls… the deepest green velvet in a long slip dress with maxi coat over the top. I commissioned Jimmy Choo to make some beautiful velvet slippers that I had designed (I noticed with joy that these had been reintroduced into their range recently)… anyway, Kelly looked the total Pre-Raphaelite goddess… Imagine my delight to discover that she still owns her wedding coat and still wears it on occasion, only now over jeans and a T-shirt… I love nothing more than stories of how an item of clothing has started out with one purpose and has evolved, been altered even and then relegated to another useful piece in our lives… with all the stories and memories attached… 

Raven green has always made me think of Kelly as it really is her colour (not forgetting taupe of course)… but I dislike generalising on who should wear what colour… “redheads look great in dark green”, “blondes shouldn’t wear black”  as I think colour is a complex thing… Anyone on team Wakeley knows well… I am passionate about getting just the right shades in our palette… everything is dyed to our very precise colour standards and we pride ourselves on using colours that are flattering on a broad range of skin tones and hair colours. This may sound obvious but just tweaking a colour one way or another by adding perhaps a little more blue or a little less red, for example, can be transformative.  I am particularly pleased with our new raven green this summer… for me it’s the new navy… chic and cool…a dark neutral… looks great with all the camels, tans, ecru and whites of summer… sets off papaya brilliantly in a sophisticated European way… like navy, you can dress it up and you can dress it down… but it’s more unexpected for summer than navy is… it is without doubt my new dark neutral in my summer wardrobe…Talking wardrobes, I always try to design in little capsules for ultimate versatility… I love clothes that work hard for me and summer is always a time when we need peak versatility… generally we move from city to beach within hours and we want clothes that look as chic and as appropriate in the city as they will when we arrive at our chosen destination… (albeit that may be Cornwall, Norfolk or Scotland this year) and this was precisely my mission when we found our gorgeous Italian viscose weave that we have used for our summer work-horse staples… my new uniform will be the wide leg pant with the shell top… both have a gorgeous hand-crafted frayed detailing… I also love these pants worn with the matching trench dress… a dress over a pant or a jean is often my way of wearing a dress … In terms of wardrobe staples I always think the perfect cropped white cigarette pant for summer is a must-have… we have elevated ours with the fray detailing which make them feel just that bit cooler… BUT, if you are anything like me… stay away from the chocolate while wearing. 

Chatting to Kelly on the phone the other day we were both laughing about the fact that this pandemic has made us even more entrepreneurial than we have ever been… challenges are put in front of you on an hourly and daily basis and we have to work out the cleverest way round each of them… there is generally a solution… you often have to think CREATIVELY about business as well as being CREATIVE in the design sense of the word… it inspired me to send her a customised cashmere with CREATIVE on… she is genuinely one of the most creative women I know both as an entrepreneur and a designer… chapeau Kelly

Talking travel or, more to the point, lack of… I was pondering on what our “new commute” is… our moment to switch gears from work mode (albeit from home)  to being At Home… for me its the ritual of lighting a candle… the strike of the match, the flare of the flame and the gorgeous aroma that say “time to switch off…. until tomorrow at least… Its funny how little rituals can mean so much… In our single years, Kelly and I used to be great travel buddies and I will never forget how we would check into wherever we were staying and she would slightly re-arrange the furniture (trust me she was a genius at making a room feel 100% nicer) and we would light a scented candle… possibly pour a strong vodka… and we were “on holiday”… the joy of a ritual…

In the meantime… I hope your week is going well wherever you may be in the world… my Monday was made by a lovely Zoom call with a dear friend in San Francisco… I would never have thought of doing that before Lockdown… one of the upsides, of which there are many… Stay safe and stay well Sending love

A x

P.S.  I would LOVE to hear from you… you can email me directly on [email protected]  for styling tips, wardrobe advice… or tell me what you would like to hear more about in these Newsletters… or, as a loyal customer, tell me where you think we are missing a trick… perhaps product that you would like to see… it would be lovely to hear from you… even if it’s just to share your favourite chocoholic recipe x

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