With her bold approach to design that sees her use leopard, rainbow stripes and lurex combined with primary colours, Madeleine Thompson’s namesake cashmere line is one of fashion’s most talked-about and worn brands. Editors and fashion girls, including Olivia Munn, Jennifer Garner and Blanca Miró, all love Thompson’s unexpected take on knitwear, often stepping out in her signature rainbow tracksuit. Here, the Hong Kong-based designer talks dream projects, style icons, and more.
1) Describe your style in 3 words:
All my own.
2) What’s the most precious item in your wardrobe and why?
I’ve got my wedding dress, an off the rack Chloe from 2011, in my wardrobe and I still love it so much.
3) What’s your personal style signifier?
The gold jewellery that I’ve worn since my early 20’s. A Cartier Love bracelet and gold watch with various, vintage gold bangles. On paper they’re pretty ‘classic’ but somehow on me they take on a more random feel and they are a massive part of who I am.
4) What is the best fashion advice you have received?
Don’t try too hard!
5) What’s your go-to outfit?
I’ve always been a boho girl, but I dropped that look for a long time so I’m quite happy to see it’s back in a more paired back way. If I’m home in Hong Kong and it’s warmer, I’m usually in a dress, most likely by Ganni or DÔEN, with black patent Birkenstocks. In colder weather I am literally in an MT cashmere set and my white Air Force One Nike trainers every single day.
6) What is a must have clothing item everyone must own?
A slouchy, cashmere slightly oversized, boyfriend cardigan.
7) Less or more?
Less I think. Although, don’t get me wrong—I’m all for a very fierce, more is more vibe, once in a while!
8) Who are your style icons?
Kate Moss is the ultimate and has always been the best at putting together the coolest looks. I think she is the epitome of not trying too hard. Right now, I just adore instagram sensation Blanca Miró, she just nails it every time and is super, super chic.
9) If you could have anyone’s wardrobe whose would it be and why?
I know this sounds really annoying but can I say my own? I’m obsessed with clothes and have spent a lot of time and effort getting to where I am today and I just love every single piece in there.
10) Where do you love to shop?
I’m an online shopper now through and through— it took a while to understand it but now I don’t feel like I’m getting the full edit unless I’m shopping online. I love Etalage, Debonnaire, Matilda Goad, The West Village and Vasquiat.
11) Favourite piece you bought recently and why?
I bought a flowered top and skirt by BATSHEVA, which is pretty awesome.
12) What will we never find in your wardrobe?
A bodycon dress.
13) If you were an item of clothing what would you be?
An oversized rainbow, cashmere jumper, with some gold lurex running through it—comfy yet a little bit fabulous!
14) If a museum asked you to donate one item from your wardrobe that represented you what would it be?
I think it would be the rainbow tracksuit that I did for AW17 which made such a stir worldwide, and is so instantly recognisable.
15) What is your dream project?
To work with M Missoni. I love what they are doing.
16) Dream collaborator?
Bridget Riley would be the ultimate collaboration in an alternate perfect universe. The exploration of colour and delight found in her paintings are a constant joy to me as she makes me see colour in a whole new light. Her work is utterly timeless and relevant—and just so cool.
17) What’s your number one fashion rule?
18) Top 3 accounts to follow on social media
19) Favourite fashion apps?
Is it terrible I don’t use any apps?
20) Where were the last three places you travelled to and what are the can’t miss shops?
Verbier: Mountain Air is a great shop in the perfect location at the bottom of the run, right in the centre of town.
London: Daunt Books is my favourite destination when I’m there. I can’t put down Curtis Sittenfeld’s new book Rodham.
Photo: Penguin Random House
Madeleine Thompson Madeleine Thompson