Emilia Wickstead Pre-Fall 2022

With the lookbook accompanying her latest collection, Emilia Wickstead is closing a chapter, of sorts. Beginning in 2020, the designer has used the pre-fall season as an opportunity to tenderly spotlight the community of creative women that surrounds her in London. But where the previous two seasons featured said women with their children, this time around, Wickstead wanted to ensure the focus was firmly on them. “I’m calling it my trilogy,” says Wickstead. “For the final round, I really wanted to elevate these women and place them center stage, which is why they really fill the frame. I wanted to show how incredible they are on their own.”

With the grace and gentility of the bright young things of Cecil Beaton—indeed, the prints featuring blowsy hydrangeas and roses were directly inspired by Beaton’s gardens at Reddish House—Wickstead’s leading ladies have never looked more statuesque. But as always, the designer kept practicality in mind too, with pinstripes that pay homage to “that entrepreneurial spirit of the working woman,” in Wickstead’s words, as well as a series of lightweight denim pieces that embody a sense of laid-back elegance. Even the more formal details, like Wickstead’s shawls, which she usually structures to form origami-like shapes around the body, carried a more effortless sense of glamour, here softened to envelop the body.

If there’s one thing Wickstead pays keen attention to, it’s the needs and wants of her clientele, many of whom have returned multiple times to feature in the series of lookbooks. “It’s very exciting, especially with all the big hair and the capes and the glamour,” says Wickstead. “But I think in terms of what they would be wearing. It’s about that glamour, but about a sense of ease too.” And while Wickstead is well-known for the subtle decorum of her crepe dresses—there’s a reason both the Duchess of Cambridge and Princess Eugenie were spotted in Wickstead gowns over the course of the Jubilee weekend—she has a confident way with more casual separates too, with her cable knits and flared pants proving to be particularly desirable this season.

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