My Fashionable Week: Averyl Oates

07 August 2009

Another Friday, another high powered fashionista sharing the ins and outs of what's made their fashionable week tick. Up for our quick fire round of questions today is one of the most stylish women around, Harvey Nichols Buying Director Averyl Oates, who talks clothes, candles and car rallies...

Best and worst moments of the week?
Best: I attended an update meeting on plans for our new Fourth Floor development. We have so many exciting ideas and brands planned for this launch and this has been a real highlight for me this week. Invites for Fashion Week are already starting to trickle through too; I'm really looking forward to the season ahead!
Worst: This awful British weather! All this cold and damp is playing havoc with my footwear!

Is there anything like an average day for you, and if so what does it look like?
The only thing that is consistent about my working days is how hectic it is....I'm always on the go!

What's the most unexpected thing you did this week?
It wasn't officially this week, but Saturday saw me at the Albert Dock where Terry Betts (HN Menswear Buyer), Richard Johnson (HN Menswear Buying Manager) & Ollie Amhurst (Designer) - otherwise known as Team Oates! - entered the Mazda London Team Triathlon. I had decided to challenge myself earlier this year and had the idea to join Karma Enduro for their car rally across India in November. I have to raise monies for the Challenge towards two very worthy children‘s causes, and one of these events has been a Charity Dinner and Auction on the 1st of July, held at our 5th floor restaurant. Terry kicked off the race with an unenviable 750m swim in open water across the Albert Dock, followed by Ollie‘s 20km high speed cycle pursuit and finally Richard took the team across the finish line with a 5km sprint. They raised an amazing £5k which was very kindly contributed towards Karma Enduro, I cannot tell you how gratifying this experience has been so far.

How do you wind down at the end of the day?
Simple pleasures work best for me. I head home, run a bath and light an extravagant scented candle - depending on my mood and the season I light a candle to evoke a certain memory. Something floral-based reminds me of holidays in the South of France - MEMO's 'Sexy Saint-Tropez' is fabulous for this, whilst By Kilian's 'Cruel Intentions' reminds me of the winter, ensconced in a ski lodge on a roomy leather couch!

Last three things you bought?
1. Givenchy Mongolian Lamb 'Tabard', £1,685. I love, love Givenchy and this waistcoat can be dressed up 40s style in the evening with an evening dress - preferably chic and black - or I can wear it with jeans and a tee and feel comfortable but fantastic! 
2. Miu Miu Suede Thigh-High Boots, £795. I bought the second-to-last pair of these must-have boots. They completely and utterly transform a dress and make your legs look AMAZING! We have one pair left on the shop-floor and have already accumulated a wait-list for the re-order.
3. Alaia Saddle-Stitch Skirt, £1,230 - This is a fab work-skirt that I can team with a Vince tee or The Row vest. Alaia will NEVER date!

What are you lusting over this week?  
We have literally just received delivery of vintage 'brand', Elio Ferraro; collected and curated by Ferraro it is a plethora of 'old-school' big fashion labels such as Mugler, Hermes, Dior and Gucci. I have already managed to sniff out a Chanel rubber-knit mini-dress and a red silk and black leather draped Gianni Versace dress! Draping is a must-have for autumn/winter and this has been cut by the master of the sexy dress himself!

Guiltiest pleasure of the week?
It hasn't happened yet, but I am about to invest in said Versace dress!

What newspapers/magazines/websites do you look at each week?
I try to make a point of reading all newspapers and magazines for both work and pleasure! I also enjoy browsing through the multitude of style blogs out there. Susie Bubble's is particularly good and feels like quite an 'intimate' perspective on fashion at times and Scott Schulman's, The Sartorialist is beautifully voyeuristic! I have also just discovered 2 new blogs authored by a mother/daughter team, (often more like sisters!); Jane Aldridge, ( has a dry, mature and passionate take on fashion for a 17 year old and her mother's ( is very visual and straight-forward. Both convey an authoritative, natural appreciation without being too forced! I also love!

Favourite outfit you wore this week? 
Quite a simple purchase, but I recently bought a fabulous sweater-dress from the new season Marc Jacobs collection. Grey, with the most fabulous pagoda / ultimate dynasty shoulders - they're absolutely sky-high! It's wonderfully easy dressing and perfect with both my heels and flats.

What's your favourite day of the week and why? 
Friday...Need I say more?!

What's your perfect day ever? 
I love travelling, so finding a flea-market in a far-flung corner of the world, absorbing the culture and relaxing with yoga sounds pretty good to me!

Soundtrack of the week?
I love ‘chill out' music from artists like Norah Jones and Eva Cassidy; they have both recently been regularly playing on my ipod.

Best restaurant/party/bar you hung out in? 
I really like Automat; tasty, relaxed dining and the member's bar is great. I always look forward to the Serpentine Summer Party and this year was particularly fab because I adore Jeff Koons. Alice Temperley's annual summer Somerset party is also great fun! This year's theme was leather and lace; who would ever thought one would team Ungaro Couture with knee-high's from a Soho sex shop!

TV programme you were obsessed with?
I don't tend to watch that much TV, but I hear The Wire is great so I will try to invest in the box-sets!

What are you most looking forward to next week? 
I am off to the Lake District with my family for a tranquil break. There will be lots of walking accompanied by the faithful family dog.

Blackberry or iPhone and how addicted are you? 
Difficult choice! Blackberry for work, iPhone for personal...


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