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Look out Samantha Wills. There’s a new Aussie jewellery queen on the block. Check out the unique styles of Gold Coast designer Emma Milikins.

By Carla Caruso

Emma Milikins, 32, wowed the style set with her accessories at Rosemount Australian Fashion Week’s spring/summer collections earlier this year. It’s the first time in five years an accessories designer has been allowed to do a catwalk show.

Though, it wasn’t without a bit of stress on her part putting it altogether. Milikins explains: “I got a call from fashion week owners IMG saying there was a free spot – three weeks prior to show time! So, I made it happen. I hand-made all of the designs and costumed it myself. I saw it as an opportunity to put my name out there. If I could pull this off with three weeks’ preparation, imagine what I could do with four months?”
Models, in floral headpieces, strutted the runway dripping in jewellery – including leatherwork and chains and stones like turquoise and coral – and carrying whimsical objects, such as birdcages and dolls.

Milikins says: “Backstage was amazing – the buzz, the energy. I just loved it! The only downside was that it felt like a dream, because I only saw flashes of the models on the runway and it was all over so quickly. Still, it made me realise that this is definitely what I want to be doing with the rest of my life.”

Though, jewellery design wasn’t always on the agenda for Milikins, who originally wanted to be an artist. However, she says: “One day, my friend and I hit the road together and ended up in the Sunshine Coast in a caravan. I had one roll of watercolour paper for commissioned work, which I got through really quick, so I had to find something else to do.”
She chanced upon a bead shop and has never looked back since. “I bought a few beads and a pair of pliers and have not stopped making jewellery.”
Aged 30, she opened her own boutique in Queensland’s Burleigh Heads, Love From Lucy, which features clothing labels like Milk and Honey, alongside her own, self-titled accessories brand. She even had US actress Kate Hudson once drop in for a visit when shooting the chick flick, Fool’s Gold, nearby.

Still, not content with her successes in jewellery and retail, Milikins has just received back her first clothing samples from Bali and is excited about merging her accessories label with a small fashion line. “It’s a new challenge for me,” Milikins says. Watch this space.

For more on Milikins, check out www.myspace.com/lovefromlucy1

By Carla Caruso, www.diamondsandwhirls.com

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