My Style: Barbara Atkin

Barbara Atkin

Photo: Courtesy of Barbara Atkin

The one image that defined your approach to style...

Audrey Hepburn in Breakfast at Tiffany's; if she walked into a room today her style would still be relevant.

Please describe your style in three words.

Modern classic, timeless, slightly irreverent.

What is the biggest mistake one can make when getting dressed?

Trying too hard and wearing too many trends at once.

Do you believe in role models?


What are your favourite fabrics?


Are there any style combinations that you object to?

No. I believe in individualism, personal dress codes, and knowing who you are.

Which city has the best-dressed women?

Paris, because they put themselves together with effortless style.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

Neither conservative nor bold, more eclectic. I like to keep it simple in an interesting way.

What are the rules, if any, in the way you dress?

Be comfortable, dress appropriately for the occasion, and invest in the best.

Celebrities and style...

Have a powerful impact on what you choose to buy.

One garment/accessory that you can never have enough of?


A woman should always look like...

She didn't work at it.

Who taught you what you know about style?

My mother — her style mantra was simple, chic, and classic.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

I think about what I'm doing that day and instinctively pick clothing appropriately for the occasion and who I am meeting.

What is your biggest regret?

I don't have any.

The three essential things a woman should know about style are...

Perfect fit, quality, and invest in the best.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

My shopping ritual starts well in advance of the season as I am fortunate to see the clothes on runways and in showrooms. I usually flag what I want early with my personal shopper.

We will never see you wearing...

Tiny miniskirts, short shorts or mid-drift bearing tops.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

Peter Pilotto for their digitally inspired prints and colours. Alexander Wang for democratising fashion to many and always taking a look at the athletic world — bringing it into his collections. Raf Simons and Hedi Slimane, who are not necessarily new, but I believe they are two designers who will change the way we view clothes in the 21st century. They take risks, and design with forward thinking.

Who is the most stylish person you have ever seen?

Jewellery designer and part time actor Waris Alhuwalia because of his eclectic mixing of eastern and western clothing. A mix of tradition in an irreverent way; he is not afraid to take risks and makes great style look so easy.

What is the first thing you notice on a woman?

Her nails.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

All of my Manolo Blahnik single sole pumps — they never go out of style. My Alexander McQueen dress from the late 90s, a classic piece but always modern. An Yves Saint Laurent clutch bag from the 80s, another timeless piece. And my diamond heart necklace which was a mother's day gift when my son was born.

Which designer never fails to impress you?

Miuccia Prada for her inventiveness — she takes you on a journey that you never would have imagined and yet the world follows.

One article of clothing that a woman needs to pay close attention to is...

Her shoes.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

Comfort is the one thing that differentiates great style versus being a slave to fashion. Comfort means confidence and it is confidence that gives one enduring style.

Who would you like to see next in My Style?

Quentin Jones, an artist/illustrator from London.

The best words of advice you have ever heard?

When in doubt, leave it out.

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