What I Know About Style

Emma Wallace


Kate Elliott meets the Hong Kong based British designer, Emma Wallace

What I Know About Style

The stimulus for your SS22 collection is butterflies. What’s the inspiration behind this?
I was spending a lot of time in my garden during lockdown and it really reminded me how much I love the outdoors and the wonders of nature. I especially loved butterflies and was inspired by how delicate and beautiful they are. It also got me thinking about the butterfly effect theory and how one small movement can have a massive effect somewhere else. In many ways this translates to the power a good outfit can deliver – if you wear a beautiful piece, it can give you a new level of confidence that empowers you to go on and achieve something great.

Which is your favourite piece in the new collection?

I really love the Juan Romper in the Alar print, I think I will be living in that all summer long! I also love our BTW jeggings too. They are a great run-around pant that mixes well with all our tops – a wardrobe staple for sure.

You’re originally from Berkshire but live in Hong Kong. What are the things you love about Asia that made you want to settle there?

The food is incredible and I just love the vibrant hustle and bustle in all the Asian cities. It’s so inspiring for design, there’s always so much to see and enjoy! It’s a place where nature and modern city living collide, which offers up endless muses to build my collections around too.

Which elements do you take from east and west when designing your pieces?

There has never been a clear divide because they blend so well together, but often my prints and colour choices have more of an Asian influence. It’s fun to experiment with mixing East and West silhouettes with Kimono-style jackets and 1970s jumpsuits.

What is your favourite period and place for fashion?

So difficult to choose one!! I love 1930s glamour, as well as Studio 54, 1970s Glam rock and the corsets and ruffles of French King Louis 15th – so many different eras, I couldn’t possibly choose!

What are your personal wardrobe staples?

Living in Hong Kong, I am often in more spring-summer items, so my go-to pieces are our Printed Silk Trousers, embroidered bomber jackets and printed t-shirts.

What does an average day in your life look like? Do you have any routines that you swear by?

Juggling motherhood and running my own brand means it’s often a full-on day. I try to always start the day by waking up early and replying to emails before the rest of the family are up so I know what the rest of my day might be like in terms of prioritising design or team meetings. I also tend to do a lot of work in the evenings when the house is quiet, but I have a cut-off time that I am very strict with so I can rest and recharge ready for the next day. I think it is important to wake up and make a plan of action, so you feel organised and to know when to stop in the evening so that you are not making important decisions when you’re tired.

If you hadn’t been a designer, what would you have done?

I think I would still have done something creative but I am not sure what. I have always wanted to be a fashion designer and never really looked to any other field.

Is there anything coming up that you’d like to tell us about?

We have just launched our latest Emma Silk PJ prints, so I am super excited about those, and we are about to drop a few new gowns, which are very chic and elegant and ideal for summer weddings and events – so that’s very exciting too!

Emma Wallace is priced from £18 – £325 and is available online at www.emma-wallace.com and at Wolf & Badger.


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