Those who have spent time in New York City will often tell you of the inspiring energy of the city. It was there that Melbourne designer Felicity Ellison decided to take the plunge and start her own label. “I was studying nights at the Fashion Institute of Technology and would spend my days walking the streets, going to galleries and just people watching,” Ellison says. “It’s one of the most amazing places in the world and somewhere you can really be yourself because there will always be someone a bit kookier or weirder than you there... I was always into fashion but as a naive 18-year-old I was under the impression that it was too hard and competitive for me to even think about.”

Ellison’s debut spring/summer 10-11 collection, Take me to that place again, impressed the industry with its on-trend appeal, and was picked up by Melbourne institution Alice Euphemia and Sydney’s The Corner Shop. “[It was] a very experimental collection which was me trying things and seeing if they worked,” she says. “Some did, others didn't. It was really just a bit of fun, experimenting with textures and silhouettes.”

Asked who the ‘Ellison girl’ is, the designer says she designs for herself. ”It's kind of like the ’never trust a skinny cook’ saying. I have always felt that designers should look to themselves first that way you can have a real connection to the brand. A personal stamp if you will.”

For autumn/winter 11, Ellison’s sophomore collection is only set to further impress the industry, the young designer displaying a developed technique and a more refined aesthetic.

Titled I move the stars for no one, the collection, which she describes as “more grown up”, takes inspiration from Ellison’s favourite childhood film, The Labyrinth, David Bowie and gemstones. “I took elements from the kitschy set design (one scene actually has glitter thrown on the concrete to create a mystical atmosphere – amazing), the characters and colour palette of the film.” Sheer fabrics in interesting prints, metallic silks and soft leathers give the wearable collection of classic separates that ‘Bowie’ edge.

Next up for Ellison? “I hope that with each collection I can continue to grow like a have been. I don't tend to think too much into the future as you never know what spanner could come flying at you, so at the moment it's baby steps taking it one day at a time.”

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