The queen of impeccable, impossible chic and expert tailoring, Emilia Wickstead has a list of clientele the envy of her peers – moving from the society women of London’s Cadogan Square to it-girls such as Alexa Chung and Girls star Allison Williams.
Known for her bevy of devoted clientele and her signature romanticism, designer Emilia Wickstead took last year’s London fashion week by storm with collection infused with a mad-men-esque modernity of the 1960s, featuring high neck sculptural dresses and high waisted gowns in dense horizontal stripes. As a member of the Swarovski Collective for two seasons, Emilia brings a distinct style to the crystal riffs seen on her stylized looks.
Swarovski sits down with Emilia for the inside look at what inspires her designs, and how she survives the fashion craziness (hint: it’s all about passion).
Describe your style.
My style is a modern, elegant approach to old world femininity.
What inspires you when you are designing a collection?
It get my inspiration from many different places - whether it's from watching an old film to travelling to a new city, or reading a great book or wandering around antique markets. I'm a very visual person so I take pictures of anything that catches my eye and cover my studio walls with these inspirations.
What about Erwin Blumenfeld’s ‘Fantasies’ series inspired you?
I love Blumenfelds unconventional approach to photography and his ability to transform the ordinary into something quite magical. The jewel tones in his photos inspired the color palette for my AW16 collection.
Who do you design for / who’s your muse?
I design for the modern women who wants to look feminine and classic, yet wants an edge to her style. My muse is the modern Hitchcock heroin, she has the sensuality without the over - sexuality and the simplicity without being ordinary.
Your silhouettes are statuesque – long, flowing, with a certain weight. What inspired this?
There is something very romantic, yet powerful when a woman wears a long flowing silhouette. You can feel the energy when she walks into a room, all eyes are on her and she has this powerful presence.
How do the crystal elements communicate your overall vision? Is there meaning in the patterns and shapes?
I use crystal embellishments to add sophistication and punch to garment. They provide that unexpected twist and old world allure. The patterns and shape that I create are inspired by a mood and a feeling. I follow my instincts and go with my gut.
How does your native New Zealand inspire you? What inspires you about being based in London?
Growing up in New Zealand you are surrounded by people that are very grounded and have a strong work ethic, which has always stayed with me. Living in London things operate at a different pace and there is this undeniable energy to the city that is a constant source of inspiration.
Last book you read?
'The Allure of Chanel' by Paul Morand.
What about fashion makes you crazy? What makes you stay?
The scheduling around fashion can be very demanding which makes things crazy at times- especially leading up to fashion week. It’s all worthwhile when you see your work come to fruition and when you know you are working towards creating something big and wonderful that people will still comment on in years to come. That’s the dream!