“I’ve bought the collection home,” said Emilia Wickstead as she greeted the audience at her crowded atelier in South West London, where she presented a gorgeous autumn/winter collection to an intimate crowd.
“Having only moved to Europe, (Milan in fact) when I was fourteen” Emilia later told me “I am still getting to know the English way of dressing” and that’s exactly what the autumn/winter ’12 collection explores, well 18th Century- modern to be precise, something that is immediately referenced in Emilia’s softly sexy, square cut necklines, with covered shoulders and nipped-in silhouettes.
The first few looks that filed out, to the sound of horse-hooves clip-clopping were made up of delicate scenic equestrian themed prints that showed off what Emilia does so well and that’s feminine and elegant, impeccably cut pieces that you want to wear and own- even if her glossy aesthetic is something you aspire to be more like rather than part of your natural style.
But that’s what its all about- dressing up! Emilia’s passion and something that Wickstead explained she thinks she may have got from her mother “she taught me the power of red lipstick that’s for sure” which Emilia was wearing today (along with a sleek black jumpsuit of her own design) as were the models, with their sleek, glossy ponytails- very much a contemporary touch for Emilia’s old English inspired collection.
“At the beginning of the design process, I create a setting/scenario in a specific setting in my head and design the collection around that, for autumn/winter ’12 this was a party/evening soiree at a stately home (namely Windsor Castle), the way women used to dress back then, was so over the top and glamorous”
So with all this talk of aristocracy, the Royal residence, horseback riding, could Emilia have been inspired by one Duchess in particular…say a young lady who goes by the name of the Catherine Middleton perhaps? Well, not entirely but she does love Kate’s polished sense of dress and her glamorous style that has become so adored since the engagement. And having dressed guests at the Royal wedding last year (including Kate Middleton's cousin Lucy, Anya Hindmarch and Emma Parker Bowles) what from her new collection could the designer imagine Kate in “All of it!” Emilia joked, well maybe not one of finally looks- a show-stopping black ball gown skirt and crop top (something we’d love to see Rooney Mara wear at the Oscars in a couple of weeks time) but the elegant pleat detail dresses would be ideal for the Duchess of Cambridge.
It’s a very exciting time for Emilia Wickstead as what she has done so well since she started her made-to-measure fashion emporium two and a half years ago, as fallen into major fashion favor, wonderfully cut, feminine, timeless clothes are in huge demand right now- dare we say…it might be the K-Mid effect!