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Emilia Wickstead and… grunge. There’s a sentence you wouldn’t have expected. Okay, it might be a neater version of grunge (you won’t find bleached ripped denim and frayed check shirts here), but you will see blown-up plaid intarsia sweaters, crinkled satins, and throw-on curb-grazing bell bottoms, of which, Wickstead said, “I really see them as the must have trouser shape of the season.”

After recently discovering David Lynch’s hit ’90s drama series, Twin Peaks, Wickstead was hooked. “I became transfixed by the characters and their wardrobe,” she said. “It’s really an homage to that wonderful cast, like Josie Packard, phenomenally chic and elegant in louche, relaxed tailoring; schoolgirl Audrey Horne, who wears fitted sweaters and plaid miniskirts but who also has this 1950s seductive element to her, with her satin lingerie-esque evening wear, and even Agent Cooper too, with those masculine overcoats he wore. I was thinking about this very modern young teenage muse, which felt quite different for us.”

Wickstead often explores the tension between the familiar and surreal, last season it was Man Ray and before that Hitchcock. “I think as a brand we’re very buttoned-up and we’re very into our tailoring and simplicity with a twist, which is why I love working with these inspirations because there is something a little bit strange about them; that’s the quirkiness.”

Her color combinations were also fittingly off-kilter, not least within her full-skirted floral prints: turquoise and brown and pistachio collided in one, while another comprised gray leaves with blood red roses. Tweedy two-pieces came in surprising hits of acid green and candyfloss pink. But she was also mesmerized by the possibilities of black, partly, inspired by David Lynch’s quote: ‘The more you throw black into a color, the more dreamy it gets.’

Staged at the Royal Academy of Arts, this season also marked her return to the runway. Since the pandemic, she has favored a film-format for her presentations. Only a few weeks ago she still wasn’t sure if she would stage a show or stick to a video concept. “Basically, my gut didn’t tell me not to do a show and so that’s why we did one, but it’s small and intimate, which felt right this season.”

Her instinct paid off. In other Wickstead news, she launched a bridal collection last month, which is already proving to be a success, and on the back of her homeware launch at the end of last year, she’s following it up with a lineup of upholstery; something her clients have been asking for. “It feels like a natural extension,” she says. “It’s a fun way to have a piece of our world.”