WHO: KAREN WALKER
WHAT: FASHION DESIGNER
WHERE: NEW ZEALAND
FFF LOVES… her cool and quirky aesthetic, mixing textures, patterns and colours with deft style and consumate ease.
STAY: THE CLASKA HOTEL, TOKYO – my favourite hotel in the world, the Claska is Tokyo’s only boutique hotel – hard to believe I know. The rooms are gorgeously designed and the café is the best place in for breakfast anywhere in Tokyo. Also, the beds are enormous which is hard to find in this town.
EAT: AFTERNOON TEA AT CLARIDGES, LONDON – for me, no trip to London is complete without afternoon tea at Claridges. Set aside a couple of hours and sit back and be pampered. Reservations essential.
EAT: THE SMILE, NEW YORK – the long time favourite for New York’s hipsters, smile is an effortlessly cool little hangout that’s good any time of day or night.
EAT: COOKIE, MELBOURNE – Cookie has been a favourite with the grooviest Melbournians for years. Any night of the week it’s a sensational spot – cool and effortless interior, great vibe, sensational food. Tucked away up some stairs in a slightly rundown old building in the centre of town, have dinner and then a movie at the roof top cinema upstairs and follow it up with a drink in the bar … if you can squeeze in amongst the crowds that is.
VISIT/EAT: NEUE GALERIE, NEW YORK – Hidden away in a stunning townhouse, the collection is of early 20th century German and Austrian art and objects d’art. Best of all is the Café Sabarsky on the ground floor which serves traditional German food and overlooks the park – a must stop place for lunch when up town.
EAT: AFTERNOON TEA AT SKETCH, LONDON – the best places to take tea are normally establishment but the parlour at the relatively new Sketch in London’s West End is a rare exception that combines the old school charm of the leisurely taking of tea with new school looks. The tea selection at the parlour is great but it’s the cakes that make it superb, plus there’s something about the peachy light and the floral scent in the air that all come together to make the parlour a perfect spot for tea. If you’re going on the weekend make sure you make a reservation.
STAY: HOTEL DE SERS, PARIS – very chic, very well designed and a perfect location. Hotel de Sers can’t be beat. And the breakfasts are wonderful too!
EAT: THE IVY, LONDON – sure it’s a scene, but it’s a charming scene. The cosiness and club feel of The Ivy is what makes it so special. Whenever I’m there I feel like I’m in another time. The food’s great of course, you don’t get to be a classic like this without good food. The friends who I’ve always been to the Ivy with always let me have the seat facing the rstaurant – they know that what people come to the Ivy for is more than the great food and vibe – it’s the star spotting – and it’ll never let you down on that score.
STAY: THE LYALL, MELBOURNE – out in the suburbs (the posh suburbs that is) you’ll find this little delight – a boutique hotel at its best with a great spa and sensational breakfasts. Lots of good little cafes and restaurants nearby and reasonably close to everything else Melbourne has to offer. The general look of the place is well considered and the whole vibe comfortable and chic.
EAT: FREEMAN’S, NEW YORK – tucked away down a little alleyway, this gem glows with fairy lights on the outside and inside its series of woody, homely rooms overflowing with wild flowers and taxidermy make it one of the best little secret spots in New York and the food’s just as homely and cosy as the interior.
About Karen Walker:
Karen Walker is a fashion brand with a reputation for its original, effortless and unpretentious style. Karen Walker shows each season as part of New York Fashion Week and has permanent showrooms in London, New York, Tokyo and Sydney.
Karen Walker is stocked in over 350 stores throughout the world in cities including New York, London, Los Angeles, Sydney and Tokyo. There are also three Karen Walker flagship stores in New Zealand and one flagship store in Taipei.
She was awarded the 2007 Prix de Marie Claire award for best creative talent.