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Emilia Wickstead’s woman was in love this season. The designer was inspired by the 1960s Latin American love hotels, where “young lovebirds” would meet away from their families in what she described as a “safe and nurturing” environment. “A place where they could meet, but not to feel overly sexual,” she says.
Overly sexual she may not be, but there was a distinctly sexier feel to the collection: braless models wore gauzy mid-century dresses in sorbet shades of lemon and rose, that showed a peek of nipple. The waistline was still a focal point but it was looser, elasticated and thus less restrictive. Her muse had swapped heels for simple, flat leather sandals. She was whimsical and poetic — and wearing florals that referenced 1960s hotel curtains.
“I love that idea of that young girl that is with her family, and who then puts on her flip flops to run out to meet her boyfriend, so she didn’t have time to properly dress,” she says. “She’s in love with love.”
The colour palette was romantic and muted, with sheer ivory chiffons dotted with miniature flowers and gentle pastel tones: delicate hues that were interspersed with slices of tangerine and Kelly green, and a childlike multicoloured polka dot that referenced Alexander Calder. “He was a 30s artist but his colour palette was very much still prominent in the 60s, he was well ahead of his time,” says Wickstead.
Ballerina bodices met blousy puffed sleeves that had pleated cuffs. Feminine details came in the form of lace Edwardian collars and petal-shaped capes, while a flowing Victorian nightgown maintained Wickstead’s signature sweetness. Skirt lengths were lifted this season to just above the ankle to create freedom of movement. All in all, Wickstead’s muse is looking rather lovely. But then, it would be difficult for her not to, now that she’s in love.