Two of New Zealandâ€™s most beloved international designers, Emilia Wickstead and Jessica McCormack, have collaborated on a highly covetable capsule collection of decadent jewels inspired by the South Pacific and weâ€™re here for it!
So much so the duo hit the studio together in London for our exclusive cover shoot and an hilarious Kiwi-girl catch-up via Zoom with STYLEâ€™s managing editor Phoebe Watt.
Launched to align with London Fashion Week SS21 and available in New Zealand at Simon James for a limited time, the sensational, sparkling collection gives a nod to the designersâ€™ shared New Zealand heritage.
Beautifully incorporating McCormackâ€™s signature hallmarks â€” Georgian cut-down settings, layered white and blackened gold and diamond gypset hoops â€” the array of earrings, rings and necklaces are designed to sit seamlessly with Wicksteadâ€™s Spring Summer collection.
â€śWeâ€™d been talking about doing this for so long, too,â€ť says Wickstead, explaining that while theyâ€™d worked together since their brands were in their infancies â€“ McCormack supplying jewels for Wicksteadâ€™s runway shows and the pair regularly sending their celebrity and bridal clients to one another â€“ it was her spring 2021 collection, inspired by the South Seas, that was the final catalyst for the jewellery collaboration they launched in October.
â€śIt was that collection that got us thinking about pearls,â€ť says McCormack, who confesses sheâ€™d avoided them in all her years as a jeweller because of what she saw as their inherent stuffiness.
â€śWhereas for me,â€ť says Wickstead, whose late father was Samoan, â€śthereâ€™s definitely something very nostalgic about them; their connection to the South Pacific, and the sense of whimsy and adventure they evoke. On top of that, I hate the word glamorous but there is something so incredibly glamorous about them.â€ť
The challenge, both Wickstead and McCormack agree, was in modernising the pearl. â€śAnd I think Jessicaâ€™s way of taking something precious and luxurious like a diamond and turning it into this edgy, super versatile piece that you can wear every day with just a white T-shirt or a cardigan, that was absolutely key.â€ť
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