My Style: Karen Walker

Portrait of Australian fashion designer Karen Walker

Photo: Courtesy of Karen Walker

Please describe your style in three words.

Attempting grown-up.

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

Not checking the full look in the mirror.

Who taught you what you know about style?

If being stylish were as easy as being taught about it, then we'd all look like Jackie O and Juicy Couture wouldn't exist.

Do you believe in role models?

Yes.

What are your favourite fabrics?

Crêpe de Chine, tightly-packed heavy wool felt, and fine gauge cashmere.

Are there any style combinations that you object to?

So many! The top of my list is clothing that doesn't reflect the climate. It just looks silly.

Which city has the best-dressed women?

Paris.

Would you say that you are conservative or bold?

Conservative.

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

At the moment I'm really going for an elegant look.

Celebrities and style...

Is never guaranteed.

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

The old-fashioned ones: a good trench coat, a good clutch, a good scarf, and a good pair of sunglasses. Sorry, that's four.

A woman should always look like...

It's a breeze.

How do you select your clothing every morning?

I check my iPhone for the weather and my schedule, and go from there.

Your biggest regret is...

Having finite wardrobe space and having to get rid of so much I'd like to keep every six months.

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

Chipped nail polish doesn't look cute on anyone older than twenty one. A smile does more for your face than Botox ever can. There's no such thing as too many simple cashmere sweaters.

Do you have any shopping rituals?

If I love it, I buy it. I never go away to think about it.

We will never see you wearing...

Counterfeit.

Which new designers do you follow and why?

Eddie Borgo, because he manages to combine luxury with wit.

The most stylish person you have ever seen is...

Charlie Watts.

What is the first thing you notice on a woman?

I take the whole thing in, top to toe, in a millisecond.

What are the most treasured items in your wardrobe?

The thing I'd be most upset to lose is the very best Hermès scarf I bought. It has just the right print, colour and warn-in-ness.

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

I'm not sure about up until now, but the pin-up I'm working toward is old Diana Vreeland —especially that Horst photo of her in black shirt with big bangles and beads.

Which designer never fails to impress you?

Prada.

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

You should pay close attention to everything.

Is comfort an enemy of style?

No.

Who would you like to see next in My Style€?

Katie Hillier.

The best word of advice you have ever heard?

It's better to be over-dressed than under-dressed.

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