It’s not everyday you get to meet two incredible fashion stars. On Thursday 29th March I met Barbara Hulanicki the founder of the 60’s fashion store Biba and Amanda Wakeley who was awarded an OBE in 2010 for her outstanding contribution to women’s fashion.
Bath In Fashion was a huge success with guests Amanda Wakeley, Manolo Blahnik, Barbara Hulanicki and Stephen Jones to name just a few! I met Amanda Wakeley after watching her fashion show held in the ballroom of the historic Forum in the centre of town.
Her spring/summer 2012 collection was stunning! I wanted to grab the clothes straight off the catwalk and who could blame me?
Beautifully draped gowns breezed down the catwalk with backs cut out into pillow box openings. Elegant dresses in turquoise, mustard and red reminded of beach goddesses swinging from the models shoulders.
Amanda is known for wanting to empower women in their everyday lives in an effortless way. But why did she want to start designing women’s clothes?
“I spent the mid 80’s in America and loved they the women dressed in an understated but luxurious way. When I came back to England I couldn’t find anything to wear. There was no easy understated glamour.”
What makes her clothes so different from the rest?
“The inside of the dress has to be as beautiful as the outside. It’s about private luxury, silk lining, your own little secret.”
So what is next for 2013?
“I have two collections on the boil at the moment. But I can’t tell you anymore than that!”
I met Barbara Hulanicki at the Bath Spa Hotel Thursday morning feeling both nervous and excited. This was a woman who changed the face of fashion overnight with the opening of the 1960’s fashion emporium Biba.
She wore black, all black. Beautiful knee high boots with a leather jacket hung perfectly over her shoulders. She looked tanned from the Miami sun and spoke as if she was aware of everyone in the room. I loved the way she laughed. Nothing too loud, more of a giggle to herself.
When I asked her what her beauty regime was Barbara said, “I think the most important thing is what you put inside and exercise of course. I live on the beach so I walk a lot. It’s beautiful.”
What was the last item of clothing you brought?
“Shoes. I have very big feet and when I find something my size I’m so excited because it’s not very often.
When were you last on holiday?
“The reason I live in Miami is so I don’t have to worry about the two weeks holiday. It’s like holiday all the time. Although really I haven’t been on holiday for years. I love going to London and Paris, the big cities really. That would be a holiday.”
Barbara has been designing for George for 18 months and is on her ninth collection.
“I keep it simple. Lots of prints.”
It felt like I could talk to her for hours. This is a woman who has had such a huge impact on the fashion world. She constantly keeps herself busy with different projects ranging from fashion to designing fireplaces and cushions. Barbara was so wonderful to meet and incredibly inspiring to someone like me.
Barbara Hulaniki and Amanda Wakeley have firmly positioned themselves into the fashion canon. I leave with a quote by Lorraine Candy, editor of Elle Magazine May 2012:
“Your OUTFIT speaks volumes about you before you’ve even had the opportunity to open your mouth. Clothes make you FEEL GOOD. That emotional POWER is the reason we are still shopping right now. Fashion is liberating, it is INSPIRING.”