New Zealand-born designer Emilia Wickstead has made her name creating classically feminine formalwear for the likes of the Duchess of Cambridge, Alexa Chung and Diane Kruger. Fresh from her success at London Fashion Week, we sit down with her to talk about her style and inspirations.
Q: Do you have a particular type of woman in mind when you design your collections?
Emilia Wickstead: I’m always taking my client into consideration one hundred per cent when I’m thinking about my clothes. I also like to think about clothes that I would want to wear – I’m a mother who works and likes to go out and so I want to incorporate all of that. In my dream world my client is a woman who likes to dress up all the time and I think this is apparent in my collection; it’s sophisticated and sexy in an unassuming, unpredictable way,
Q: What are the roots of your fascination with old-world couture?
EW: I think I may be a bit of an old soul; I love everything old-fashioned, I listen to old music rather than new and I’m incredibly fascinated by old world architecture and interior design. I love the way people used to dress up all of the time, they would travel in their best and always look polished. I’m also fascinated by the way women used to shop – choosing their own fabrics and colours – and I felt that there was a modern version of this missing. This is why I get excited about my brand and what it represents.
Q: Did living in Milan influence your interest in fashion design?
EW: Very much so. I came from New Zealand, where your exposure to fashion is fairly minimal, so coming to Milan was the first time I had seen a designer boutique. Milan at the time was the centre of fashion and when it came to Fashion Week, you would be so immersed in the hype as it’s a small city and I was definitely influenced by that. I was also inspired by the way women dressed for men, with a strong sense of femininity.
Q: What is the most cherished item in your closet?
EW: My black cigarette trousers – and my wedding dress.
Q: Your Autumn/Winter 2014 collection surprised fashion editors, do you enjoy defying expectations?
EW: I think everybody does a little bit – it keeps people on their toes. But you design a collection depending on how you feel at that time and that’s why you do it, not because you’re trying to shock people on purpose.
Q: Which designers are you particularly excited about at the moment?
EW: I love what Raf Simons is doing at Dior, he’s playing on the feminine silhouette but in a very modern way. I also love what British fashion designers are doing as a whole, it’s very fresh and I feel like we are having a great moment.
Emilia Wickstead’s SS15 collection is now available for purchase from her Sloane Street boutique.
Text with permission of Wish hr partner, Quintessentially Lifestyle.