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Emilia Wickstead is the red carpet’s new guard. The London-based, New Zealand-born designer is on a similar path to that of American clothier Rosie Assoulin, creating simple, elegant, ultra-feminine silhouettes befitting Grace Kelly circa 1952 that happen to be infused with the bold colors and quirky prep mandatory of a modern, spirited woman. Ever since the Central St. Martins grad started her line in 2008 (after internships at Proenza Schouler and Narciso Rodriguez, respectively), she’s definitely enjoyed notoriety in her adopted hometown (the British prime minister’s wife, Samantha Cameron, is a fan, as is Kate Middleton and It Brit Alexa Chung — who sat in the spring 2015 front row). But in March, Allison Williams went to Vanity Fair‘s annual Oscar party wearing a simple pink Wickstead stunner — and something told us the 30 year-old designer’s red-carpet business would never be the same.
Judging by the modernly minimal gowns seen on Wickstead’s spring 2015 runway in London on Saturday, we’re probably about to be right.
Wickstead after her spring 2015 show during London Fashion Week on Sept. 13.
Pret-a-Reporter: This collection has “movie premiere” and “awards show” written all over it. Did you design it with the red carpet in mind?
Emilia Wickstead: To be honest, I design with everything in mind!
Fair enough. But we imagine it must give you quite the rush to see a celebrity wearing one of your designs.
It’s wonderful, especially when it’s someone like Allison Williams or Caitlin Fitzgerald — it’s an amazing feeling when someone fits the epitome of the brand. We’ve been lucky now that we’ve just started dressing people on the red carpet, and it’s been really good at pinpointing who our girl is.
Is VIP dressing — and subsequent gown-heavy collections — part of your business strategy or is your following more organic?
[Celebrity dressing] is something that I love, and obviously as you can see from the catwalk there were definitely elements of those longer dresses. And I like to mix it in with some of the other things that you can wear during the day or to go out to dinner. I like that mix. I think that’s the way red carpet is going a little bit — that flawless, effortless, full-length dress that’s simple but it just hits.
Who would you just die to see wear one of your gowns at the Oscars?
Oh there are a few, you’re putting me on the spot! Just one? Diane Kruger.
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