Style Insider: Emily Miller-Sharma


Liam designer Emily Miller-Sharma. Photo by Karen Ishiguro.

The debut of Liam’s collection of wedding-focused gowns, separates and dresses last month couldn’t be more timely given designer Emily Miller-Sharma’s recent engagement. The striking 30-year-old, who plans to marry next winter in a self-designed dress, fills us in on the proposal, her new Celebrations line, and a few of her style secrets.

Tell us a bit about your husband-to-be and how he proposed!
I am marrying Alistair Deverick. He’s a musician, playing drums in The Ruby Suns, Lawrence Arabia, and he has his own personal project under the moniker Boycrush, and most recently came back from a tour playing drums for Neil Finn. The proposal was nice and simple – he had talked to my father about it a couple of months before at the beginning of his tour when Dad went to see him play in LA. He looked for a ring as he toured around the UK, deciding in the end to buy one on his way home through Dubai. He flew home Sunday afternoon, we went out for dinner Sunday night and then he proposed when we were walking home.

You recently got a dramatic new hair crop, what motivated that?
It was time for a change! I was bored of my hair, it was a really busy time at work, I impulse-booked a hair appointment with my hairdresser (Matt Benns at Stephen Marr) knowing I was going on a work trip a couple of days later, and I just went in and did it.

The best piece of style advice you’ve ever heard?
If you feel uncomfortable, you’ll look uncomfortable. Clothing should be there to assist you to have a good time, not take away from it.

How would you describe your personal style?
Quite simple, combining formal and casual.

Whose style do you appreciate?
I really love Meryl Streep, Cate Blanchett and Diane Keaton.


Dresses from Liam Celebrations in the latest Fashion Quarterly, styled by Sally-Ann Mullin and shot by Mara Sommer.

What’s your most notable purchase?
I just bought a pair of Diane von Furstenberg shoes. I don’t usually splash out on footwear as I wear it out so quickly, but they were such an amazing shape I just couldn’t help it. In terms of clothing, the only purchasing I do is fabric for the clothes I’m about to make. My favourite is this really heavy weight silk crepe de chine because it drapes so beautifully. It’s super expensive so I have to be selective with how I use it – this season I’ve used it as sleeves on a blazer.

Where did the idea for Liam Celebrations come from?
It’s something that has come about quite naturally. Over the past couple of years the number of customers coming directly to us requesting that we make them a particular style in the colour they wanted has continually grown, so it made sense for us to build a stronger framework around that demand.

Lookbook: Liam Celebations 14

What do enjoy about designing wedding dresses?
I can play around with a design a lot more than I would with an every-day piece: colour, silhouette, fabrics. It’s also a slightly different mind-set. While often customers want to be able to wear the pieces again, it’s quite an exciting shift in thinking to make something with a specific event in mind. And in the same way, each piece is made for a specific person so it has elements of them and their celebration in it.

How long had you been working on the idea to launch the new line?
We have been talking about this for the past couple of years. I made my first wedding dress four years ago for a friend. She had this pristine white linen table cloth that her grandmother had done cut-lace work on as a young woman, and we decided to use that as the fabric for her dress. It was so nerve-racking for me cutting that lace but the final result was perfect, simple and elegant. That was really the first true made-to-measure piece that I made and the process was so enjoyable that I wanted to keep doing it.