Presenter-turned-designer Emma Willis has just launched her third clothing collection with fashion powerhouse Next. Featuring a mixture of tailoring, nightwear and (for the first time ever) lingerie, the collection is made up of over 30 stunning autumnal pieces – guaranteed to breathe life into your wardrobe for the colder months.
With three collections now under her belt, Emma has gone from strength to strength as a designer (despite admitting in a previous interview that she would likely “combust” if she were to pursue this career full-time). Now, as the winter months approach, she is reflecting on her progression as a designer, motherhood and body confidence.
DESIGNING THE COLLECTION
Emma has gone from modelling to presenting to delivering babies and now designing – proving that stepping out of your comfort zone and trying new things is the key to success. Having designed collection number three, she also feels her confidence has grown:
“Working with Next is always so much fun and I feel like with each collection I become more confident and familiar with the design process. It’s so important to me that the pieces in my collection are items that I would actually wear and would want to buy myself…”
Like a true businesswoman, she’s always thinking big. Her latest collection not only features tailoring and nightwear (two areas she has dipped her toe into before) but also lingerie, an avenue she pursued in a bid to find pieces that merge style with comfort – criteria that a lot of lingerie fails to fulfil.
“I’m so excited to be launching my first lingerie collection! It can be so hard to find lingerie that is stylish but also comfortable to wear… It felt really good to sit down with the team and create those pieces that you’ve always wanted in your underwear drawer…”
Fuelled by that desire to plug the gaps in her wardrobe and create a product that matches exactly what she wants, Emma and the team at Next have produced subtly feminine bra-and-brief sets in soft yet elegant fabrics, including a midnight navy lace.
The bras are all soft-cupped, yet again echoing the mum-of-three’s desire for maximum comfort. She says she hasn’t worn underwired bras since having children and prefers a brief pant for full coverage, as opposed to g-strings which she deems “uncomfy”.
Body confidence has been at the forefront of Emma’s mind throughout her career as a designer – and her latest collection is no exception. Available in sizes 6-22, the whole collection is much more about truly wearable style than unrealistic aesthetics.
The presenter is very open about how she feels about her own body, admitting her confidence tends to go through peaks and troughs “like everyone else”. Working in a field that requires her to be on camera most of the time, you might have expected Emma to feel right at home being photographed in lingerie – but in reality, she found it “terrifying”. Despite that initial fear, she claims she feels a lot more body confident now than she did before having children:
“I think I started feeling comfortable in my skin after I had children. For me it put everything into perspective because you kind of realise what your body is there to do, and what it’s capable of, and what it can achieve.”
OUR WORK WARDROBE FAVOURITES
Suited and booted
For those busy coffee-fuelled days when you’re dipping in and out of client meetings in a blur, we recommend opting for a stylish suit combination.
Tone it down with understated all-black or inject a splash of colour into your working days with a blue satin number. Swap out the blazer to make it more casual and work-to-night appropriate.
“I think my favourite pieces from this latest collection are the blue satin suit, such a vibrant colour, and the monochrome herringbone coat – if you have a great staple coat, it can make any outfit!”
For when you’re out and about
One of the most important assets to your wardrobe will be a warm coat, because autumn weather can be biting at the best of times. Whether you’re walking from home to the office or to the tube, it’s important to keep yourself warm – and Emma’s latest collection may have just what you need.
Although the star says she’s never been too keen on colour, “I’ve always been someone that’s afraid of colour so I’ve always stuck to neutral tones” she says in a recent interview, one of her newest and boldest pieces is a bright pink coat. This could be evidence that she feels more confident now when it comes to trying new things, having three collections under her belt.
For casual Fridays
Add some thick, fluffy sweaters into your autumn wardrobe. These are a winter must-have and perfect casual office wear. Pair them with leggings or trousers for maximum warmth and wear a long or short sleeved top underneath, depending on how cold it is. They come in a range of colours and are winter wardrobe staples because of their versatility.
The Emma Willis Collection for AW19 is available online from 19th September and in selected stores* from 24th September. Get a behind the scenes snapshot of the collection photoshoot, shot at Somerset House in sunny London.