Good day, sun­shine

The easy el­e­gance of Emilia Wick­stead’s re­sort col­lec­tion ful­fils all our hol­i­day de­sires. By Zara Wong.

VOGUE Australia - - Viewpoint -

In the world of Emilia Wick­stead, the women are el­e­gant and worldly, head­ing to work, per­haps, in one of her wool crepe sheaths in dusty pink, saf­fron or cream; go­ing out for evening cock­tails in a tof­fee-toned, bell-sleeved silk blouse; or at­tend­ing gar­den par­ties in flo­ral-printed dresses with por­trait neck­lines up­dated with ruched waists and off­beat hues. And what would these women wear on hol­i­day? Well, now that you ask … the New Zealand-born, Lon­don-based de­signer has just the thing.

“I used this one line: ‘Once upon a time, a place in the sun’ as a sort of mov­ing in­scrip­tion within the col­lec­tion. It’s a kind of by-the-sea ap­proach,” says Wick­stead on the phone from her Lon­don of­fices about her high sum­mer col­lec­tion, which showed at Aus­tralian fash­ion week and was made im­me­di­ately avail­able to pur­chase on­line.

“When we de­cided to work on our sec­ond ex­clu­sive cap­sule col­lec­tion with Emilia Wick­stead, she hadn’t de­signed a high sum­mer va­ca­tion col­lec­tion be­fore and we all wanted it to re­flect her dis­tinc­tive fem­i­nine and vin­tage-in­spired aes­thetic and to in­clude the beau­ti­ful, iconic flo­ral prints that we have loved from the be­gin­ning,” says Natalie King­ham, fash­ion and buy­ing di­rec­tor at Match­es­fash­

The ease of the col­lec­tion stems from its prints and shapes with shorts, frilled jump­suits and short clo­qué pieces to be worn over swim­suits. “We want to trans­port you to another time, another world. A lot of the styles are very much from a time past, but done in a very mod­ern way,” says Wick­stead, men­tion­ing in-house-de­signed flo­ral prints, which are a twist on the pat­terns seen in 50s up­hol­stery and fur­nish­ings. “I am quite par­tic­u­lar; I don’t like things to be too con­ven­tional. I like it whim­si­cal and I’m of­ten in­spired more by in­te­rior prints as op­posed to those used in cloth­ing.”

Be­yond the un­mis­tak­able colours and prints, that Emilia Wick­stead qual­ity also comes from the sil­hou­ettes. “And,” she says, “I would say, ar­chi­tec­turally, the way we put an gar­ment to­gether. Fit­ting after fit­ting, we al­ways think about how we can make this feel more fresh and fash­ion-for­ward and very easy.” It’s a mantra that is even more im­por­tant with this col­lec­tion. “In our de­signs we can feel very dressedup and for­mal, so with the Match­es­fash­ x Emilia Wick­stead re­sort it was about want­ing to cre­ate a feel of hol­i­day­ing and re­lax­ation.” She adds: “I wanted to cre­ate some­thing for the hol­i­days that wasn’t a kaf­tan.”

Wick­stead, as she re­minds us, is her own cus­tomer, be­cause her de­signs are aligned to her per­sonal style. “I try ev­ery­thing on!” she says cheer­fully. “It was refreshing de­sign­ing this col­lec­tion ac­tu­ally, be­cause I am a 34-year-old woman who likes to go on hol­i­day, or tries to, at least.”

Her best-loved es­capes? Hav­ing spent time in Mi­lan, where she moved with her fam­ily at the age of 14, she nom­i­nates Italy is one of her favourite places, for its food and cli­mate. “I love the beau­ti­ful wa­ter and rocky beaches, which are so charm­ing … the cob­ble­stone streets, the old build­ings with shut­ters,” she says.

New Zealand, her birth­place, is also a reg­u­lar des­ti­na­tion. “It’s the com­plete op­po­site: it’s where you go for long walks on huge beaches and eat fish and chips out­side. I thank my lucky stars I am from New Zealand and it’s such a big part of my life and who I am.”

A skip over the Tas­man Sea from New Zealand to Aus­tralian shores – lit­er­ally, since the col­lec­tion was shown on the coast – was firmly in

Wick­stead’s mind for the re­sort launch. “Aus­tralia, like New Zealand, has this very orig­i­nal ease with dress­ing. Be­ing from New Zealand is very much linked with me com­ing to Syd­ney and be­ing close to home and close to the most beau­ti­ful beaches in the world.”

By the sea, we’ll go.

“I am quite par­tic­u­lar; I don’t like things to be too con­ven­tional. I like it whim­si­cal and I’m of­ten in­spired more by in­te­rior prints”

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