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Emma Erickson

designer profile

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One day she was Anne Shirley, exploring the woods and shores of Prince Edward Island around her beloved Green Gables. The next; Mary Lennox, exploring the secret garden of her elderly uncle’s English estate. Sometimes she trekked the prairie with the Ingalls family. At others she sought the Minnesota town of Mankato at the turn-of-the-century hidden to play with chums Betsy and Tacy. Emma Erickson had a lively imagination as a child. It provided her countless hours of magical play which eventually stoked her passion for fashion as an adult.



“I loved to read fantasy and historical fiction novels. The female characters in these books were the muses for how I wanted to dress,” the young designer says. She collected vintage clothing from antique stores and estate sales which she visited with her father. She and her friends would play dress up in her finds, and Erickson would even wear the ensembles to the grocery store with her mother. “I liked to mix printed tights or leggings with my different printed dresses. I didn’t realize at the time what I was doing, nor that this would actually carry over to my adult life.”

“Fashion has the ability to tell the story of who a person is…This is exciting to me,” Erickson states. And who Erickson is is a designer who combines form with function, creating beautifully “sculptural” clothes with attention to detail work for added romance.
Says Erickson: “I spend a lot of time on embellishment, trim, and texture for garments. I love ruffles, pleating and bows.” Her line for this fall to be featured at Omaha Fashion Week on September 13-18 will include draped tops and dresses over corset foundations. Echoing her spring line will be trimmed jackets over simple jersey dresses.

Old biology and natural history drawings provide much of her inspiration. She also consults historical costume drawings, etchings, and paintings. The intricate detail work in historic clothing especially fuels her design fire. She imagines who will be wearing her creations and likes that her clothing will help tell the wearer’s personal story.

As for her own personal style, Erickson likes to how her pale skin highlights the rich hues of jewel tone colors. “I am a little crazy for floral, especially if it is Liberty of London,” she admits. Not surprisingly, she likes shirts and dresses with embroidered embellishment. Heels are part of her wardrobe, but time spent walking in large cities has confirmed that wedges and platforms are the perfect blend of fashion and comfort.

After graduating from Westside High School in 2005, Erickson moved to California to attend fashion design school in San Francisco. She worked on a Textile Collaboration Project that will show in New York Fashion Week this September. Erickson was part of the design team consisting of three designers, two technical designers and several Textile students who worked together to create a collaborate collection. Though part of the design team, she also worked with the technical designers to cut and sew the garments.

This summer she is spending time in Los Angeles for an internship with Herve Leger by Max Azria (BCBG). Not one to be idle, Erickson is also working on her line debuting during Omaha Fashion Week and applying for positions as assistant designer with numerous companies throughout the country. Still, as busy as Erickson is, she never tires of designing clothes. It “is endlessly interesting and exciting for” her.

Erickson is a prime example that children need free time to just play. The time this talented young designer spent as a child cultivating her imagination with playacting and storytelling has served her well: “I never run out of ideas or feel uninspired.”

-end- metroMAGAZINE




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