Exclusive: Q&A with Madeleine Thompson

As she launches her AW14 collection, designer Madeleine Thompson tells us exactly why she’s so crackers about cashmere, and why our we should layer up in the seductively soft warmest of woollens for winter…

Talk us through Madeleine Thompson in a nutshell… 

It’s all about easy pieces and covetable style staples for off-duty moments. I never like to compromise on the quality of my knits, so I use Grade A cashmere that is then spun in Italy to offer a luxurious depth. Feather-light yarn and a thicker knit keeps the clothes super comfortable and warm. That’s why we all love cashmere, right?!

 How would you sum up your brand new AW/14 collection?

It’s influenced by sports luxe and the laid-back insouciance of the LA scene. Key pieces include the red and blue stripe contrasts of the Tiger jumper, and the sumptuous oversized Martha wraps with neon piping and ribbed polo necks in ice blue and charcoal. It also features a lot of fine-knit bodies with long sleeves and polo necks… they’re great for layering when the temperature drops.

What do you think are the prerequisites for aspirant fashion designers?

A USP is important. Mine is to offer something unique which customers can’t get elsewhere.

We know cashmere is practical. Talk us through its fashion credentials… 

A classic cashmere piece can be updated with colour pops and contrasting stripes to tie in with current trends with each season. My Maddy beanies are updated in new colours seasonally, and I’ve developed new twists, such as pompoms and coloured turn ups to add a new spin on an enduring piece.

Pretend we are cashmere skeptics. How would you bring us round?

Cashmere is the ultimate luxury! It’s so sumptuously soft and will never bobble if cared for correctly. I’m obsessed with quality and comfort, and I ensure that elegance is the cornerstone of everything I design. A cashmere piece can see you through from a Saturday brunch to a walk in the park, a Monday morning Starbucks or a school run.

What’s your favourite cashmere accessory?

I love to wrap up in the Martha wrap – a grey oversized piece with hot pink edging. It’s perfect for some time off and TV viewing!

Any upcoming events you are keeping your eye on?

I’m really excited about the ‘Savage Beauty’ exhibition coming to the V&A next year, having long admired Alexander McQueen’s work.

Madeleine Thompson; Pipa London; 1 Formosa Street, W9 1EE; Opening hours: Mon 11:00-17:00, Tues-Sat 10:00-18:00, Sun 11:00-17:00;

Madeleine Thompson is also stocked at Net A Porter, Harvey Nichols and Selfridges.

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