Marrying her environmental and social concerns with her love of design, Ellie Mucke is changing the way we see second hand garments. Most of us would struggle to even envisage an old man’s business shirt becoming a dress or a t-shirt becoming earrings, but for Ellie these concepts are not only imaginable, but achievable.

Ellie’s search for alternative approaches to fashion design practice began when studying fine arts fashion. “After graduating I began working in commercial fashion and as I had predicted, I began finding it pretty frustrating. I decided to start buying second hand clothes and cutting them off and selling them at markets. It gave me a creative outlet which I wasn’t getting at work.” That creative outlet eventually led Ellie to establishing her label MüCKE in 2007.

Working within the sometimes difficult shapes she’s given, Ellie constructs her collection like a geometric garment puzzle; t-shirts are turned upside down and numerous pants are fused together to form a completely new pair. Mucke’s latest summer collection ‘Büd’ is an optimistic range of bright hues, geometric lines and asymmetrical volume. The collection also has a sense of rawness to it with each design there is still some evidence of what the previous garment was. From the placket of trousers to the geometric seam of a business shirt, Ellie is purposeful in leaving an indicator of the past behind.

“Because I’m working from a one dimensional form to another dimensional form, it’s more of a sculptural process on the body,” describes Ellie, who takes inspiration from Japanese designers.

MüCKE will be taking part in an exhibition and workshop series with jeweller Emma Grace as part of the cultural program at L’Oreal Melbourne Fashion Festival 2011.

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