It’s amazing what a posh frock can do for a women’s morale. For fall, Emilia Wickstead was influenced by the work of 19th-century Russian noblewoman and photographer Natalia Shabelsky, whose passion for traditional folk art and textiles led her to travel all over her native country photographing ordinary women in extravagant dress.
“Some of these women were maids, and it’s amazing to see the empowering effect that wearing those clothes had on them,” explained Wickstead, noting that the palette of blush pink, forget-me-not blue, royal blue, jade green, scarlet, black and white was inspired by the colors in traditional matryoshka dolls.
Silhouettes were Wickstead’s staple of high-waisted skirts and pants, and predominantly longer dresses. A decadent high-waisted velvet skirt in deep-blue velvet was teamed with a blue turtleneck covered in posies of folksy flowers, while a lovely pair of white pleat-front pants was worn with a matching top with puffy sleeve details.
A fully sequined dress added mirror-ball glamour, but its long sleeves and midi hem made it modern. While there were only two coats in the lineup, they were great, especially the blue three-quarter-length number with wide lapels and contrasting fluffy panels. Fall marks the debut of Wickstead’s first denim offering: high-waisted jeans in deep indigo that the designer paired with either a velvet top with corsetry details or with a black cloqué lace shirt.