Emily P. Wheeler’s SS21 collection is a celebration of dressing up again. Emily began working on Dress Up at the very beginning of the COVID quarantine in 2020, imagining and anticipating how much fun we would have once we had overcome the pandemic. Her wedding had been cancelled due to the pandemic and she spent her days dreaming of the day when it would come. Emily unveiled the collection when a vaccine became widely available in preparation to ring in this century’s Roaring ’20s. Her wedding finally came and the festivities were covered by Harpers Bazaar. Emily continues to add to Dress Up as the joy and aesthetic of the collection is true to who she is as a designer.
When creating this collection, Emily looked back on the excitement of playing “dress up” as a child. She set out to reinterpret the over-the-top outfits she wore then, translating them into something more elevated and adult. A fusion of inspiration from Pop Art, kids’ costume jewelry, Harajuku style, and artist friends like Betsy Enzensberger come together in a collection that nods toward several examples of uninhibited self-expression.
A Wonderland of Color
Dress up incorporates unicorn spinel, pink sapphire hearts, oversized brightly colored gemstones, and enamel accents in designs that are luxurious with a playful edge. The collection also includes reimagined versions of Emily’s signature Tiered and X silhouettes, with new cheerful color palettes. Invoking childlike wonder and imagination, many of the designs are named after Disney princesses and villains. Sometimes kitschy and always aspirational, the collection is full of love and hope.