Emilia Wickstead: Dressing Kate Middleton and style for busy mums

The Duchess of Cambridge is a big fan, so is British Prime Minister David Cameron's wife, Samantha, model Alexa Chung and actress Gwyneth Paltrow.

But despite her outfits regularly being worn by the rich, famous and royal, New Zealand-born fashion designer Emilia Wickstead says she still gets a kick out of seeing anybody wearing her garments.

Wickstead has become a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge. Photos / Getty
Wickstead has become a favourite of the Duchess of Cambridge. Photos / Getty

"It's a huge achievement to have anyone wearing your clothes, and when they are in the limelight it's the best advertisement for your brand," she says.

• Scroll down for style tips for busy mums

The 32-year-old mum of two, who was raised in Auckland before leaving for Milan, Italy, aged 14, says having the opportunity to dress Kate Middleton is an "incredible privilege and huge honour", although she wants her designs to be about all women.

"The message I want to put forward for women is that I never want it to be about, 'oh, it's a bit difficult to put that together', or 'she can dress that way but I can't'" she says.

"Actually, my designs are for all women, and I truly believe that you can make yourself feel wonderful in whatever you wear. That's the importance behind what I design."

The designer, who is most often pictured sporting a casual ponytail and a slick of red lippy, was recently the guest of honour back in home turf at Dunedin's iD Fashion Week.

As a judge at the event's Emerging Designer Awards, she was so taken with the level of talent she unexpectedly announced she would provide an internship for a young designer back at her London-based fashion house.

With a salon in London's upper crust Pont Street, Wickstead was part of the fashion pack to graduate from the exclusive Central Saint Martins School, an arts college which boasts Alexander McQueen, John Galliano and Stella McCartney among its graduates.

Although mixing with movers-and-shakers as part of her day job helps fuel her passion for fashion, the designer says with two small children, her own everyday outfits can feel limited.

"I have an eleven-month-old son and a three-year-old, and to be honest, sometimes you almost feel like you have a little bit of a uniform!"

Emilia's style tips for busy mums

• Start with a black turtleneck jumper. "You can wear that with absolutely everything," she says

• Team the jumper with a flowing, circular skirt

• Mix it up with high-waisted trousers in a classic, timeless shade

• Or wear your trusty turtleneck with skinny black trousers, flats and red lipstick to finish the look

- nzherald.co.nz

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