Our adoration of blooms is no secret: we're totally flower obsessed here at Chantecaille. So our love affair with Emilia Wickstead's collection should come as no surprise. The New Zealand-born, London-based designer has spun pure magic with floral prints, garnering fans from the Duchess of Cambridge to Alexa Chung and Gwyneth Paltrow. Graphically charged and impeccably tailored, each season Wickstead puts forth clothes with a capital "C"—beautiful, feminine, eye-catching pieces that have a timeless nature that belies trends. Our collaborations with Wickstead always produce an ethereal look, with beauty notes that balance out the gorgeous pieces she sends down the runway. She sat down with Behind the Rose to lift the curtains away from the mysterious behind-the-scenes life of someone who is constantly creating, giving us a direct view inter her world.
How did you get your start?
I started my business from my living room, treating it as our studio. Fittings took place there and clients would come and treat it like a shop. Then we outgrew it and opened our store right next to Sloane Street.
How do you describe your clothes?
Traditional with a modern twist; my designs are pieces that can be worn for years and hopefully passed down through generations.
Who is the woman you have in mind when you design?
I'm always designing for the most modern woman in her circle. She leads a happy and successful life because it is the life she knows and wants to make for herself. You'll covet her vacation as much as her clothes.
What is inspiring you right now?
I'm really inspired by mid-century furniture at the moment.
How did you dress when you were growing up?
I have definitely been through a few fashion phases! But what I love is when I look through my childhood photographs aged 3 and 4 and I am still wearing the signature Emilia Wickstead look—a polo neck, smock dress and tailored trousers. I've always stayed true to my aesthetic in this way.
Do you have favorite pieces hanging in your closet right now?
Yes. I am usually wearing my own designs to be honest, so right now I am favoring the Raffy shirt and Arabella pants from my SS16 collection. I also can't wait to start wearing the floral pieces when the weather decides to brighten up. I admire so many designers. The list is so long!
Has there been a pinch me moment in your career?
I've been so incredibly lucky to have so many pinch me moments: my first store, my first runway show and now the renovation of my store, hiring a CEO and every time I see an Emilia Wickstead piece in a magazine or a store, it really is such a humbling feeling.
Who do you dream about dressing for the red carpet?
I have dressed so many amazing empowering women and I hope to continue doing. I do absolutely have a wish list—Cate Blanchett is on there!
I like to keep the look modern and fresh, this for me often means quite minimalistic. It's a collaboration between the make-up artist, Chantecaille and myself. We listen to one another ideas and then create something that we are all proud of.
What's a typical London day like for you?
It starts off with spending time with my children, I like to make sure I take them to school every morning, which for me is something so important to do. I then take off my mothering hat and put on my Emilia Wickstead hat and head to the office. The day can consist of so many things from designing to production to press. It is usually a pretty full on day and I try as often as I can to make it home to put my daughter to bed. Then it can either be a night spent with friends or off to an event but I also love to stay in and watch old films.
Where are your favorite places to travel and why?
Home to New Zealand and to Brazil with my husband's family. There's no place like home. We also love traveling to Italy as a family.