Emma Wallace: Stylist to pop star royalty

Emma Wallace: Stylist to pop star royalty

Tue, 06/06/2017 - 15:32
Emma Wallace: Stylist to pop star royalty

Emma Wallace: Stylist to pop star royalty

When the Hong Kong pop star equivalent of Ariana Grande comes knocking on your door for style advice, it's difficult to say no. 

British fashion designer, Emma Wallace, faced with this conundrum when she met G.E.M, the songstress who has a whopping 137 million views on YouTube. 

'I actually met her manager first at a fashion networking event. He said we've got this project coming up, it's for a charity event and we're looking for a designer who can make an amazing outfit with plastic.' 

As luck would have it, the chance meeting with G.E.M's manager led to the gig of a lifetime.  

'I met up with G.E.M soon after the conversation, she tried on the outfit and we got on so well. She asked me to design a few outfits for her concert and I said yeah why not, I'm happy to quit my job.' 

The 33-year-old moved to Hong Kong in 2009 with a degree from Nottingham Trent University, and has never looked back. 

'I was working in London as a designer and that job was taking me over to Hong Kong constantly. I was looking at new design jobs in the HK and thought why not try it. I moved out here and never left.' 

On top of styling duties, Wallace also has her own self-titled clothing label, ‘Emma Wallace Collection’. 

'It was difficult and scary to start my own collection because you have to put a lot into it at the beginning. It's a slow, gradual process but exciting as well.' 

'G.E.M has been very supportive to wear the brand as well. It was helpful in the beginning because the fashion industry is saturated with new and great labels. It is all about getting your name out there really.' 

Emma Wallace with G.E.M.

For Emma Wallace, creativity always came naturally. 

'As a child, I was always interested in fashion, constantly drawing outfits. I feel I wanted to do something with fashion design. I had no idea that I'd be across the other side of the world. Never would I dream that I would have a collection. I still can't believe it.' 

The average day for the A list stylist starts with checking emails. 

'I will look at what events G.E.M has that week that I have to prepare for. I will work with my in house sewing team to see what they're working on in the new collection, talk with my production team and see how they're getting along. I think 20 to 30 percent of my average day is design and the rest is all about the business.' 

For the intrepid traveller, life is one big juggling act. 

'My family and best friends are in the U.K. but my life is here now. I love what I do. If I could jet back and forth and do both, that would be perfect.' 

Being an outsider to Hong Kong has led to all kinds of discoveries. 

'I just went to a restaurant called Issaya, it's in the mid-town. It's Thai food, the chef has taken some of his memories of childhood food and mixed it into a new menu.' 

'We had this dessert that was meant to be a coconut crepe but it was thrown on the table to be eaten. It was a cool experience.' 

'I have been learning Cantonese so I can speak a little bit of the language. I love wondering around Sham Shui Po and picking all my fabrics.' 

At this point in time, Wallace is happy juggling all her balls in the air. 

'I would like to keep moving on with the collection. Keep getting bigger and bigger. I'll always be a small brand because my life is split between this and the work for G.E.M.' 

You can follow Emma on her Facebook or visit her website.