Pret-a-Reporter

Gwyneth Paltrow's and Kate Middleton's Designer Does Limited-Edition Florals

Courtesy of Matches Fashion
Emilia Wickstead

Budding designer Emilia Wickstead creates a capsule collection for MatchesFashion.com.

London-based designer Emilia Wickstead's debut capsule collection ($660 to $1,051) went up exclusively on MatchesFashion.com today. The 32-year-old, who’s best known for coat dresses, silk jacquards and elegantly draped wool crepes (all loved by Kate Middleton), said she realized she couldn't wear her own designs on summer holiday because they were simply "too hot." The result? Whimsical, vintage-inspired floral sundresses and pleated cotton skirts, just right for warm-weather getaways.

Here, the Central Saint Martins graduate, who launched her line in 2008 after early stints at Proenza Schouler, Narciso Rodriguez and Vogue, reveals her summer vacation destination, dream Hollywood client and what flower to send her if you'd like to say "congrats" on the new lineup.

Pret-a-Reporter: Gwyneth Paltrow, Brie Larson and Elizabeth Banks have all stepped out recently wearing Emilia Wickstead. If you could dress anyone in Hollywood, who would your dream client be?

Emilia Wickstead: I’ve dressed so many of my dream clients — Diane Kruger was definitely one. I’d probably say Cate Blanchett … that would be another dream come true. Luckily, we’ve been pretty spot on when it comes to dressing actresses that are very much the EW woman.


BUDDING DESIGNER: Emilia Wickstead poses for a photo at the Matches Fashion event in Los Angeles.

Who is the EW woman?

She’s the most wonderful, intelligent, sophisticated and fun-loving person with lots of personality at the table. She doesn't need the clothes, but when she walks into a room wearing them, she immediately gets noticed.

How'd the Matches Fashion x EW collaboration come about?

Ruth and Tom [Chapman] have been like my ‘fashion parents’ and very good friends — they were the first to sell my designs. So, I thought that it was fitting to do my first capsule collection with Matches. I had also mentioned in conversation to Ruth that I don’t own any cotton dresses and when I go on holiday I can’t really wear Emilia Wickstead because it’s so hot … that was a perfect reason to create a collection of summery cotton dresses.

Olive hydrangea-print dress; $918, matchesfashion.com

Where will you wear your cotton dresses this summer?

I’m going to Pantelleria — an island in the south of Italy. I’ll fly to Milan and then go on from there. I’m vacationing with family, which will be really lovely. The coastline is rocky, so you have to jump off rocks into the water — it’s not a long sandy white beach, but it’s very beautiful. I will wear my dresses every single day.

What was the inspiration … there are a lot of floral prints in the collection?

Floral, Chintz, prints-on-prints, mixing traditional with new … you’ll see a vintage floral print, but it’s also with stripes for something modern. I’m an old school girl and I like anything that's very old world, but I think it’s important to strike the right balance [between old and new].

Juliet floral and striped-print dress; $780, matchesfashion.com

We are surrounded by fresh flowers, floral prints — and at Eric Buterbaugh's floral design studio — what's your favorite flower?

Hydrangeas! Peonies too, but I just love hydrangeas — I’m actually wearing the hydrangea print. I especially love blue ones.

If you send someone flowers, what do you request?

I always try to send blue hydrangeas — there’s a company Flower Bx which a friend of mine started in the U.K. and they will send out an entire bunch of hydrangeas … Just stems of hydrangeas wrapped in brown paper, but a really massive bunch — it’s so clever and chic. I love it! That's what I send to everyone.

June floral-print cut-out dress; $999, matchesfashion.com

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