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Jul 18

Dressing for Dinner Is All the More Fun With Emilia Wickstead’s New Line of Table Linens for Moda Operandi

Photo: Courtesy of Moda Operandi

Emilia Wickstead‘s unapologetically feminine dresses often come doused in prints (dizzy florals, over-sized chintzes, or neat stripes) which are inspired by table linens patterns—so her latest offerings, it would seem, aren’t quite a departure. Launching today exclusively on Moda Operandi is a line of cloth placemats, napkins and glasses. And because she knows that a beautiful place setting is made all the more delightful when your hostess is in a coordinating frock, she whipped up a collection of easy dresses in the same prints.

It all started after Wickstead and Moda’s Lauren Santo Domingo hosted a dinner. “It was the first time we used the prints from one of our collections on our table linens and napkins,” the designer remembers. Guests took their seats at the ladylike table, Instagramming the whole affair, and soon after the photos circulated, the phone began to ring with Wickstead clients wanting to purchase the party linens. Wickstead then opted to produce a line for the home, mulling it over with Santo Domingo over a lunch. “Lauren is that kind of person who is very confident in her aesthetic, and she’s daring to try new things. She was like, ‘Let’s do it!’”

In designing the collection (of which Santo Domingo herself admits, “I can’t wait to own it all!”), Wickstead delved into her own archives, remixing the colorways of existing prints and splashing them all over items for the table. There are four table linen prints and two sets of vintage-inspired Murano glasses—hexagonal drinkware in dusty pink (Wickstead’s brand color) and lemony yellow. Inspiration came from the iconic more-is-more interior decorator Dorothy Draper, who considered chintz a neutral. In addition to her projects at the Carlyle and West Virginia’s Greenbrier hotel), Wickstead also referenced Draper’s book Entertaining is Fun! How to be a Popular Hostess, and set out create a line that would inspire the same lighthearted, whimsical approach to hostessing. “My favorite type of entertaining is having an atmospheric dinner party with friends at home,” she says. “When your table is dressed up, you create this amazing atmosphere and create conversation.”


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