It’s summer and that means on Fridays everyone should be sneaking out of work a little bit early to go on a weekend jaunt or grab a drink on a sunny rooftop. The fashion industry, which works really hard, also knows how to cut loose and play hard. In our new weekly column, called Summer Fridays, we catch up with industry insiders to find out what they do, where they go, and what they bring with them when they escape the daily grind. We've jetted off with the duo behind Timo Weiland and skipped town with Anna Sui. This week, we’re catching up with Karen Walker. Bon voyage!
These days it’s difficult not to spot one of Karen Walker’s sunglasses amongst the young, hip, “in-the-know” women who are part of the fashion tribe. The whimsical sunnies which are also a hit among celebrities like Alexa Chung, Rihanna, Gwen Stefani.
The New Zealand-bred designer is able to seamlessly blend extremes together (ie dark and cute, masculine and feminine), for a cool, accessible look. Whether it’s prints for the fall or florals for the winter, you can be sure that Walker will be presenting something unexpected—which is one reason her shows are always so fun.
Take a look below to read about where the designer loves traveling to, a few vacation mishaps (like getting a virus!), and a ten course meal she’ll never forget.
Fashionista: What's the craziest thing you've ever done on vacation? Dragged all my snowboarding gear to the snow three winters running and didn't once leave the lodge, its fire place and great view despite perfect conditions on the mountain. The next year I sold the snowboard. What's the worst thing to ever happen to you on vacation? On a three day beach escape once I got a tummy virus which kept me indoors for a couple of days and when I ventured out on my last day I got a bee sting.
Who do you travel with the most and why? My husband, because who would I want to travel with more?
Where would you never go back? Bali
What is the most exotic meal you've had on vacation? I was recently treated to a 10 course degustation menu with matching wine and sake at Yakumo Saryo, a private, members-only restaurant in Tokyo that’s totally heavenly. Highlights were an entrée of fried lotusroots cake and a Monk’s Plate of charcoal grilled aubergine.
What do you wish you had done on vacation? We were in Paris for a weekend and a friend was going to give us a private tour of the in-house YSL couture archives, but it was closed off for renovation for a week.
What did you fall in love with on vacation? Vintage bed linen in Paris!
My favorite song of the summer... "Cruisin'" by Michael Nesmith
If I could go back to __ I'd definitely ___ If I could to back to Rome, I'd definitely stay there for a month.
My 5-7 packing essentials: For holidays, it's usually a warm place, so my iPad, sunhat, sunglasses, and swimsuit is all I really need.