Lisa Aiken: Style In A Suitcase

LISA AIKEN, Net-A-Porter's London-based Fashion Director, is always on the go and therefore an expert when it comes to navigating her style from a suitcase. She also has the sharpest eye and a wonderful sense of fun; I love her rule-breaking codes. In Sydney for Fashion Week, the dynamic buyer shared a few style secrets

  2. Photographed by JAMES TOLICH   Interview NATASHA INCHLEY   Makeup JASMIN LO


  1. "I live in denim and am lucky enough to be able to wear it day-to-day for the office. At the moment, denim that looks vintage and high-rise shapes are both key." Lisa wears a JW ANDERSON shirt, vintage jeans and belt with REPOSSI rings. 
  3. CAN YOU DESCRIBE YOUR VIEWPOINT ON FASHION AND WHAT IGNITED YOUR LOVE OF GOOD DESIGN? Fashion and more importantly, the idea of style, reflects such a personal point of view; I find it endlessly fascinating. We all know that feeling, when we get dressed in the morning and decide who we are going to be that day. The power of a good outfit should never be underestimated. In terms of the industry, I love that fashion is constantly changing; that designers, stylists and now a whole host of social media personalities, are always looking for new ideas to excite us and inspire our wardrobe decisions. I am very much about the now, new and next because although trends and styling ideas may have originated decades ago, the most interesting element will always be how we are wearing it now.

Above, Lisa wears a JW ANDERSON shirt, vintage jeans and belt with REPOSSI rings.


WHAT IS YOUR ADVICE WHEN IT COMES TO NAVIGATING A NEW SEASON? HOW DO YOU ANALYSE THE SEASON’S TRENDS? Rather than strict trends, I very much favour looking for pieces or styling ideas that I think women will want to add to their wardrobe. It’s my job to think about what is going to be that instant update, which piece is so lust-worthy we will have an emotional reaction to it and what are the new essentials that will form the foundation of our wardrobes. When looking at each designer’s collection, I take it at face value, simply looking for the best pieces in the collection. It’s only on reflection of a season that the common stories emerge and they can be anything from a new silhouette such as the off the shoulder pieces that are everywhere, to a fabric like velvet which we will all be adopting next season.


  1. "My bags are getting smaller and smaller these days, so my life is becoming increasingly edited. This fashion week I have been carrying the SIMON MILLER Bonsai bag non-stop, it holds just about everything I need." Above Lisa's GUCCI bag with vintage silk twilly, SIMON MILLER bag with vintage bandana, MARK CROSS box bag; AQUAZZURA shoes and HOLLY RYAN bangle.

WHICH DESIGNERS ARE YOU EXCITED ABOUT CHAMPIONING RIGHT NOW? I am always looking for new exciting brands that the NET-A-PORTER customer can’t find anywhere else. In the next few months we are introducing a few of our recent finds including Attico, Beaufille, Magda Butrym, Off-White, Facetasm and Atlein.  There was also lot at Fashion Week [in Sydney] that caught my eye. NET-A-PORTER favourites Tome and Dion Lee both delivered fantastic shows, filled with the pieces we know and love from them. Other highlights included Romance Was Born, whose show was so beautifully staged, Georgia Alice and PE Nation are also ones to watch.


  1. "When it comes to event dressing, a little black dress is a fail-safe option but that doesn’t mean it needs to be classic. Look for interesting design details such as cut-outs, asymmetric hemlines and sculptural silhouettes. I also love the single earring trend at the moment – it updates everything." Lisa wears MAGDA BUTRYM dress and CHARLOTTE CHESNAIS earring.

YOUR SCHEDULE IS ALWAYS SUPER TIGHT – CAN YOU SHARE 3 SIMPLE BEAUTY TRICKS FOR GETTING READY ON THE GO? My beauty routine is fairly low maintenance as I’m always short on time. Rather than tricks, I rely on effective multitasking products, such as Nars’ The Multiple cream stick on my cheeks and lips during the day and when I don’t have time to blow-dry my hair properly I use Oribe’s Dry Texturizing Spray, which is great for unkept waves. Lastly, for the evening, a true red lip works wonders.


"Everyone has a ‘thing’ and mine is my nails; Nails Inc manicures have become a weekly ritual for me. I also don’t leave the house without my personal jewellery; a few rings and my Hermès watch." Above, Lisa's CHANEL Rouge Allure lipstick in 98; CHANEL Le Vernis nail lacquer; REPOSSI ring and CHARLOTTE CHESNAIS earring; her wedding jewellery with HOLLY RYAN pendant; JCREW belt; HERMES watch and dish by DINOSAUR DESIGNS.

  1. "Anything goes after-dark, but one of the biggest trends at the moment is the slip dress. Play up the simplicity of this 90s classic and strip everything back, save for a simple bold item of jewellery and a red lip."

LASTLY, WE DISCUSSED YOUR PERSONAL FASHION CODES AND THE IDEA OF MATCHING TOGETHER A LOOK THAT IS SOMEWHAT UNEXPECTED. CAN YOU EXPLAIN THE IDEA OF BREAKING RULES ELEGANTLY, AND HOW BEST TO PULL IT OFF? My personal style mantra is to ‘add the unexpected’; something that makes a look 100% yours. It can be as subtle as mismatching your personal jewellery or adding a masculine watch to an otherwise feminine outfit or tying a scarf to your handbag, personally, I love wearing multiple styles from decorative to modernist, or different colour metals. If you are more daring, play with a print clash, a confident colour pairing or an item that shouldn’t necessarily work the look. One of my favourite styling messages at the moment is to add classic sportswear to a tailored look, for example there are lots of hoodies layered under blazers or bomber jackets with midi skirts. The trick is of course, to avoid looking like you have tried too hard, so only ever focus on one unexpected element as your statement.