Amanda Thompson talks about establishing her shop and brand: Amanda Thompson Couture by Jess Cusack

Amanda Thompson Couture London Fashion Rails

amanda Thompson once found herself on the brink of burning out, her business threatening to eclipse her entire life. “I reached a point where I was working from 6am to midnight seven days a week, and I thought, ‘this is just ridiculous, this isn’t what business is about, and soon I’ll start to hate everything I love’”. She decided to restructure and re-brand her business to include ready-to-wear collections as opposed to only tailor-made pieces, although this aspect is still instrumental to her company. She launched her ready-to-wear collection in a spectacular show at Southwark Cathedral last September, after a passer-by who adored her dresses (and happened to work for the Cathedral) offered to host her show in the stunning building. “I threw myself in the deep end as I always do. I’m very instinctive, if it feels right then I’ll do it.”

Having been a dancer since she was young, Amanda ‘found her voice’ when she began acting. After being forced to give that up, she inadvertently started what would go on to be her present success. “I had no money and no clothes so I started making my own. I loved them because I’d made them myself, and after a couple of years people were saying ‘where did you get those from?’ and ‘can you make me some?’ Out of that I developed my business. It’s been a long journey!”

Amanda Thompson Couture London Fashion Working

Amanda at work in her studio

The fact that Amanda has had no design training and is entirely self-taught is staggering. “It’s my calling. Everything in my life has led me to this point: dancing helped me to understand the body and acting gave my clothes a classical quality and a quiet drama”. The clothes are beautifully crafted feminine pieces in jewel-tones and timeless cuts. “Everything I do is all about the fabric,” Amanda enthuses, “when you have beautiful fabric (she sources all of hers from Italy and France) and a really clean cut, it doesn’t date.” Amanda Thompson Couture is about building your wardrobe with classical pieces which can be dressed up or down. She describes a pair of her Tuxedo trousers as something “you could wear with Converse and a white t-shirt or you could put on your heels, a jacket, a beautiful blouse and you’re a million dollars! I love that flexibility with clothes.”

Amanda Thompson Couture London Fashion Yellow Dress

Photography by Darren Black

“The clothes are beautifully crafted pieces in jewel-tones and timeless cuts

Her bespoke service, whether it’s a design which evolves from one of her samples, a mother-of-the-bride outfit or a wedding dress also enables her to form intimate relationships with her clients. The wonderfully creative, village-like Bermondsey scene also helps with these close-knit personal relationships. “It’s a magical place, there’s so much support.”

The Bermondsey Street Festival fashion show will give Amanda an opportunity to showcase her latest designs, but she can recall a time before the area became the trendy, artistic place it is today. She tells me that she had always wanted a shop on Bermondsey Street, and, in 2008, after seeing a ‘To Let’ sign in a shop on the Street, she thought: ‘I’ve got to do it!’

Amanda Thompson Couture London Fashion Southwark Cathedral

Photography by David King

Her spontaneity is inspiring. Amanda Thompson is clearly someone who goes with her gut, and it’s worked out well for her: “I believe in listening to your instinct, even if it’s scary. It’s good to be scared, I know that sounds stupid but things can fall into place when you’re daring yourself to do what you want to do.”

90 Bermondsey Street
t: 020 7407 3024

Amanda Thompson Couture London Fashion Working Wedding Dress

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