One to Watch: Emma Griffiths's "Tough Elegance" | NBC New York
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One to Watch: Emma Griffiths's "Tough Elegance"

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    You could say that UK-based designer Emma Griffiths was genetically-destined for fashion greatness. "I  grew up in a family where all the women made clothes," Griffiths told us. "My grandmother always said she wished she could make shoes -- that way she would never have had to buy anything from stores. Now I say the same thing."

    Launched this winter, Griffiths' eponymous collection of ultra-sculpted, geometric separates is making a splash in indie fashion circles, particularly among the edgier, leggier set of "downtown" dressers.

    Interestingly, Griffiths' sources of inspiration are more organic than her meticulously-tailored pieces might suggest. "I have always been inspired by my homeland, Wales," she explains. "To me, it's the most beautiful place in the world, and it's in my blood ... I was hugely inspired by The Mabinogion -- a beautiful ancient book of Welsh folk tales -- for the spring/summer 2012 collection."

    But even with such a sensitive approach, Griffiths claims that confidence and "fierceness" remain at the heart of her line. "So much emotion goes into designing a collection, and I'd like to think that  is transcended to the wearer.  When we get up in the morning, we don't know how we are going to feel, but wearing EG makes me feel a bit invincible. [It's] tough elegance."