A former model and design partner to Julien MacDonald, Paula Thomas began her Thomas Wylde collection in 2006. Style-setters such as Sienna Miller, Madonna and Rihanna quickly responded to her neo-gothic, twisted rocker aesthetic. Her fall collection (full of plush I’m-with-the-band fur jackets and lead singer leather looks) continues this evolution. While born in Birmingham, England, we quizzed the creative director from her home base in Los Angeles. Here, she breaks down the basics of her enviable style.
You were a model before you were a designer. Which profession is most challenging?
“Modeling was more difficult for many reasons – I always felt like the object of other people’s desires and never my own person. I am much happier as a designer and running my own company.
What is your daily go-to uniform?
“My black jodhpur leggings, a f**ked up t shirt, one of my bags (I tend to change them out a lot) and my first ever black leather jacket, which to this day I still adore and love.”
What is your signature scent?
“Ligne St. Barth fragrance.”
What music are you currently listening to for inspiration?
“Kings of Leon. Crawl is my favourite track ever.”
If you could dress and icon of the past, who would it be and why?
“Barbara Streisand – she rocks and has incredible style. Watch A Star Is Born and you will understand why.”
What is the most fashionable film you’ve ever seen?
“In The Mood For Love and Scarface.”
What was the last thing you treated yourself to?
“Ethel, my new nine week old French Bulldog.”
Where is your favourite getaway spot?
“Palm Springs, California.”
What do your signature skulls represent to you?
“The beginning of my empire – they will always be apart of what I do. They also represent a little rebellion, which I think is important in life.”
What is your guilty pleasure?
“High heels and sexy lingerie.”
Who is the best-dressed person you’ve ever met?
“I have to say Madonna. She rocks it every time.”
How does Los Angeles inspire your work?
“The laid back atmosphere, the weather and the fact that I am completely disconnected from the rest of the fashion industry keeps my designs fresh and unique to Thomas Wylde.”
What is the best fashion advice you’ve ever received?
“My best friend Jules told me to throw away my eight year-old exercise pants. I have to say she was right.”
What’s your ultimate fashion pet-peeve?
If you weren’t designer, what would you be?