An interview with rising star Eliane Sarah whose millinery we used on our last video shoot.
What's your earliest fashion memory?
Wow, that’s going back a while. I have always lived in fashion. My mum is a designer and she always made sure I was dressed in made to measure dresses following every trend. I do remember an amazing black velvet dress with pink stitching that I pretty much lived in when I was 4 years old. It was possibly the first and last time I appreciated getting my sisters’ dress as a hand me down a year later!
And the first piece of clothing you ever made?
I helped my mum make a skirt for me to match a T-shirt when I was 9 or 10 years old. It was in three layers. One was black and white striped, another yellow, the third was possibly white and was finished off with a ribbon trimming. The first piece I made completely by myself was a head-piece I made when I was 15. It was a huge flower made of sinamay. I did some embroidery on the petals and made butterflies out of wire and old tights which I then painted. This piece is probably what made me decide to go into millinery and I also show it to clients for ideas!
photo by Gemma Hall
If you could dress any personality, (dead or alive) who would it be?
Lady Gaga. I would love to make hats for her. Got a few already in my collections that I think she would love (including the silver disc worn by Gabby Young).
If you hadn't become a designer, what might you have been?
I always considered going into architecture, but got put off by all the years of studying. I thought about TV production, PR, Advertising and a few others, and then had accountancy as the back-up plan cos it’s a lot easier to get into but also very boring!
Whats the best thing about working in fashion?
Seeing my designs and finished products in magazine, videos etc.
And the worst?
People not liking or understanding my work. Timings of things! The list is endless! Luckily the best things about the industry cover up the bad days.
What are your goals for 2011?
My goals … I would love to have my business properly set-up and established by the end of the year. Have pieces stocked in department stores and boutiques. Possibly to try and expand internationally but I think that may need an extra year or two!