Emilia Wickstead’s success story begins with her steady balance of elegance and wearability. In fact, those wrinkle-free seersucker dresses and figure-hugging bouclés were so functional that brides lined up for wedding dresses for both restrained luxury and sheer comfort. So what is the definition of the next chapter? Wickstead’s shrewd knack for worldbuilding. As Vogue
‘s Sarah Harris noted in her review of Wickstead’s fall collection, over the past few years this The designer has slowly but surely started developing a series of projects beyond her initial fame of contemporary formalwear, into everything from pajamas to shoes and launching her own homeware collection last December.
So while this isn’t Wickstead’s first foray into the world of swimwear – her collaboration with Emporio Sirenuse, the boutique of the Positano dame hotel Le Sirenuse, Marking her first foray into the field – seeing it firmly placed up front isn’t as weird as it initially sounds. Shot on the beaches of Puglia, where the heels of Italian boots are a favorite of British holidaymakers, Wickstead conveys her love for historical photography by referencing pioneering fashion photographer Louise Dahl-Wolfe’s images of effortlessness and Peter’s fresh-faced beauties. Enthusiasm Lindbergh. “They each cultivated their own unique sublime naturalism and free style,” Wickstead says of her dual inspirations. Resort ready stuff. “It’s definitely the most ‘summery’ collection we’ve ever done,” she said of her pre-fall collection, which includes her wildly popular bra and pant suits, as well as more unexpected pieces, including body-hugging horses. A polo shirt and turtleneck with floral bikini bottoms. Models déshabillé posing against a backdrop of blue déshabillé‘s For poses, crisp white cotton dresses peeled off of them like modern-day Venuses on half-shells, while fabrics paid homage to the collection’s beachy spirit. (A particularly artful touch can be seen in pieces cut from cream bouclé that look a bit like flannel from a distance; the way the model slung them across one shoulder only accentuated the trompe l’oeil Painted towel effect.)
Wickstead’s willingness to skew a bit through her choice of clashing prints—such as a deliberately scribbled checkerboard pattern paired with abstract florals—also brings a unique the allure; the scent of “the beauty of freedom,” in Wickstead’s words. As always, though, the decision also served a more useful purpose. Since many of the prints have appeared in previous collections, it allows her loyal clients to mix and match their Wickstead capsule wardrobes from season to season. “I think it’s a smart way to create something new for our customers without creating waste,” she said. Her world may be expanding, but Wickstead still dominates.