Team LBD took some time to chat with Amber Lounge founder Sonia Irvine ahead of this weekend’s F1 events in Singapore to find out her thoughts on everything style related. From her feelings on the classic LBD and describing her perfect night out to discussing the Amber Lounge fashion show and their new partnership with Little Black Dress.
Which celebrities have been in attendance at previous Amber Lounge events?
The names are too many to list! But have included stars from the world of film and music as well as Formula One and a variety of other sports. We have also had Victoria Secret models, which thrilled our male guests! Stars including Bono, Rod Stewart, Prince Albert II of Monaco, Kylie Minogue, Prince Harry, Kim Kardashian, Jennifer Lawrence, Justin Bieber and many more …just wait for our next event for even more!
What does the Singapore fashion show have in-store for us?
On the occasion of Singapore’s 50th birthday, the Amber Lounge Fashion Show is going to be very special and full of surprises! Among them, the F1 drivers will walk the runway sporting the Ted Baker AW15 collection; international supermodels will be dressed in Chi Chi Von Tang, Singapore’s newest luxury label; and the soon-to-be crowned Miss Universe Singapore will be unveiled for the first time ever at our fashion show. Unique jewellery masterpieces, designed by World of Diamonds will also be featured on the runway. I could not be more excited than when talking about this event! I believe it will be one of the greatest!
Describe a day in the life of Sonia Irvine from breakfast to lights out…
Well, I am a working mum with two daughters of ages 5 and 13 and I like sharing my time between them and my work, which are my two passions. Usually, my daily routine starts early in the morning with a nice family breakfast. Then I take my kids to school before going to work. Between meetings, phone calls and emails I never get bored. I enjoy it because I know that at the end of the day, I will have my love dose from my kids. I pick them up from school and come back home to enjoy a nice evening with them. My kids are truly what my life is about and I am making the most of it.
Does your brother Eddie have much to do with the events? What does he think about it all?
Although Amber Lounge was always my idea, I will always be grateful to Eddie because he was the one taking me into the F1 world. He’s my only brother and I am very close to him. Eddie is always very supportive and super proud of my achievements. Whenever he can, he joins the party and enjoys it with his friends and I am obviously super happy to share these moments with him.
What’s your personal go-to party outfit?
I love working behind the scenes as I like to be involved in all aspects of production, but when it comes to the events I always try to bring out my glamorous side. For a night out I like to experiment with a bit of colour, as I find it brings out my personality and lively spirit. It’s great because the professionals I work with on events always have some tips for me. From fashion designers to make up artists like M.A.C, I am well surrounded with high-fashion advisors – I can’t wait to try out one of the dresses from the Little Black Dress Collection for a night out!
What are you doing when you are not organising Amber Lounge?
When I’m not working, I spend most of the time with my children, they are my joy. I love to do fun things with them any chance I get. We swim, we go out on friends’ boats, ride bikes or paint. I also like to invite friends for a dinner at my place. I’m also cycling for the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, and the St Tropez to Monaco bike ride. I’m trying to fit my training with work, and being a mum, as well as going to the 4 corners of the world!
What made you start Amber Lounge?
Before I launched Amber Lounge in 2003, I was the physiotherapist of the entire Ferrari team. I met a lot of different people, we had a lot of fun but I felt something was missing. Away from the race track, it was rare that everyone could spend time together at one venue. And even though the F1 is highly competitive, everyone is one big happy family. That’s what gave birth to my idea to create an event where the whole Formula One community could spend quality time together in a more relaxed, VIP and stylish venue instead of the more formal activities that would typically take place. It was a completely niche concept and after my first event I knew I had established something timeless. At the moment we organise the events in Monaco, Singapore, Mexico City and Abu Dhabi. I could not be more proud and happier that it has become such a staple part of the Grand Prix experience!
What’s the Amber Lounge dress code?
Bear in mind that we are the most glamorous F1 party and with the Fashion Show happening on the first night, girls should bet on sophistication and sexiness. From long cocktail dresses to short sexy dresses adorned with sparkles – I think the most important thing for every girl is to feel beautiful when walking in to the venue. It’s important to look and feel at your most fabulous on a night out.
How is fashion and style connected to the Amber Lounge events?
Amber Lounge is directly linked to the world of fashion because of the fashion show we do in almost all of our destinations. The catwalk always features the latest trends with fashion designers like Chi Chi Von Tang who’s about to launch their collection at Amber Lounge Singapore, Ted Baker – the name speaks for itself – Chopard, Julien Macdonald, Missoni, Matthew Williamson, La Perla… which will dress the F1 drivers, and Mashizan luxury shoe brand, which will be on the feet of all our supermodels!
What’s your favourite tipple?
Honestly, I rarely drink alcohol as I’d rather go for fruit juices, but it does depend on the occasion. I know it sounds simple, but in the summer, I actually love an ice-cold bottle of Heineken. I obviously like to celebrate special occasions with a glass of Dom Pérignon or Moët & Chandon and when it comes to the parties I go for a glass of Johnnie Walker. I had the opportunity to try their Gold Reserve once and I have to say that I savoured it.
Most memorable fashion moment from past Amber Lounge events…
This is a very hard question because we have such good times with our fashion partners. From the backstage to the runway, collaborating with designers, supermodels, F1 drivers and all of their teams is a great experience. One thing that is very important to me is to link fashion with charity. For example, Amber Lounge Mexico City will be supporting the Fundación Checo Perez founded by Sergio Perez. I believe aiding a good cause should be on everyone’s agenda.
Why are you excited to be partnering with Little Black Dress as a fashion sponsor?
Amber Lounge is iconic in luxury and exclusivity, so we are excited to be partnering with Little Black Dress as they have similar values to us. Besides that, Little Black Dress offers multiple styles of dresses for different kinds of occasions, which is difficult to find with most fashion stores. I can’t wait to see our beautiful hostesses all dressed up this weekend in Singapore!
What does the little black dress mean to you?
Well it’s of course a woman’s most trusted wardrobe possession – an LBD will take you anywhere! But I can tell that the Little Black Dress brand is passionate, motivated and willing to become a major player in the fashion e-commerce industry. It reminds me of my own company when I started and wanted to become the most famous party in the Formula 1 world! My wish has been granted and I think that Little Black Dress is on the right track.
What are your favourite bits of Amber Lounge?
From many years of hosting the original F1 after party, I have had the opportunity to meet many great people. Putting a smile on the face of our guests by making them feel like stars, makes me satisfied.
And least favourite…
I wouldn’t really say that there are least favourite bits, in every company or job there are some difficulties or less fun parts that you have to deal with, but seeing my guests and my friends happy makes me smile and willing to continue.
Describe your perfect ‘LBD’ night out…
Well, firstly, I have to say that wearing black dresses is something that I am used to when going out with my girlfriends so I would definitely go for it as my first choice for a perfect ‘LBD’ night out. I would need my best friends with me to make the most of it and if we could share a relaxed diner together, maybe at one of my favourite places in Monaco: Nobu at The Fairmont, it would be wonderful!
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Sonia Irvine image copyright: Billionaire.