Fall 2012 London Fashion Week: Emilia Wickstead

– By Ali Roff –

What with the homely venue of her own atelier in the exclusive Belgravia of London and a collection inspired by traditional England, Emilia Wickstead’s Autumn/ Winter 12-13 collection gave the feeling of an indulgently lavish English manor house and its exquisitely dressed residents.

Despite being born in New Zealand and living in both Milan and New York, Wickstead chose to base her latest collection around England, the country she has called home for 15 years. To the soundtrack of galloping horses, long leather gloves inspired by traditions of equestrianism were combined with heavy billowing overskirts and oversized coat dresses belted at the waist, evoking images of old English gentry. Striking silhouettes were consequently formed, but a clever use of flowing organza injected a subtle femininity which Wickstead provides so well in each of her collections. Repeatedly printed onto the organza skirts and dresses were images of Royal Windsor Castle, a reference to the Royal family and one of Britain’s most iconic landmarks.
Looking back to 18th century England, padded hips and bustle effects were worked into the ballooning skirts while deep square necklines appeared in dresses. The collection also embraced shapes of the 50’s, incorporating clinched waists and A-line skirts, managing to look back over history  yet modernise these features and maintain a fresh, current look that is very wearable.
Warm and feminine, the colour palette consisted of shades of caramel alongside dusky rose and lighter pinks which were again given a contemporary and edgier twist by incorporating a deep burgundy, glistening black and to-die-for crimson red. And it was this crimson red worked alongside a pale pink which provided a most surprising look that really worked. A red fitted dress layered with a pale pink pleated skirt, a loose fitting crimson red blouse over a full pink skirt and a stunning pink fitted dress with a pleated panel of crimson red across the back, all stunned. Gowns concluded the show in a subtly glittering liquid black. Skirts were full and voluminous, oozing the sophistication that belongs within a grand country estate.
Emilia Wickstead’s love for England and the amazing fashion it has to offer is close to home for Olivia, a confessed Anglophile herself, and what better way to kick off London Fashion Week than with Emilia Wickstead’s fresh faced and extremely wearable take on charming and traditional England.
Born and based in London, Ali Roff has grown up surrounded by the eccentric and exciting style that London fashion has to offer. She can regularly be found visiting London’s famous markets and museums such as the V&A, and also maintains her personal blog, www.fashionphoenixblog.blogspot.com.
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