Elle Shoel; Textile Princess

I'm so excited to introduce you guys to ELLE SHOEL! 
I fell in love with Elle's graphic design a while back when she collaborated with one of my favorite companies, Wild & Free, and decided I had to learn more about her. Turns out she's a student of the arts just like myself! Currently she is enrolled in uni with a focus on printed & embroidered textiles, but we all know we are more than our majors, so to be more specific: Elle is a textile designer flirting with a fashion basis while dabbling in graphic & jewelry designs as well!  
In the near future we will be collaborating on a project for The Gypsie's Trunk, so I thought it'd be fun to share my interview with her! She's such a sweet heart and her passion is beyond inspiring! 
1. What influences have guided you into the textile/fashion industry?
I would honestly say that my biggest influence in the textile/fashion/design world has been my mum. She's been creative as long as I can remember, properly edgy creativity, and so its a world that I've been brought up in. She used to handmake jewellery and own a shop selling clothes - I used to join her at trade fairs as both a buyer and a seller, and so learnt a huge deal about visual merchandising and products. I loved it all. I loved feeling glamourous and like a professional, and I was completely enthralled & inspired by my mum's creations and buying choices. Being surrounded by clothes - silks, velvets, printed cotton, leathers, fur, cascading dresses, blouses, lace - was never a definitive "turning point" or revelation where I knew that was what I wanted to do; it was just something I had always known, somewhere I had always been and something I knew I needed to do. I couldn't name anyone else as a bigger influence than my mum in all of that.
2. Are there any particular cultures that inspire your designs?
So many cultures inspire my designs! I always find myself flicking between one and another - which, incidentally, is something that really interests me. I love the idea of culture contrast/merging and I love representing this in innovative ways. One of my past projects, my "Lolita" leather, silk and organza scarf, began as an exploration into Native America and the Sioux tribes, but transformed completely from this. It spiralled out from my initial ideas about culture and brought in new and exciting development. I loved this process.
3. What are you currently working on?
The project I'm working on at the moment is basically a crepe de chine dress based on quartz crystal and Stevie Nicks. I've made all my choices and developments based around the quartz crystals, and it'll be hand dyed, screen printed and stitched from scratch. For example, I'll be discharging the print design out (which means removing the colour using a chemical paste) which is reminiscent of the colourless quartz found in the dark ground. I also chose to use the crepe de chine because of it's iridescent quality (it's silk) which contrasts with the almost rough texture of it. This, to me, echoes the transition of smooth to rough on a crystal perfectly. It also drapes wonderfully - the Stevie Nicks element coming into play!
4. Who are your favorite designers currently?
One of my favourite designers is, was and always will be Chlo√©. I wrote an in depth blog post on their hold over me:http://elleshoel.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/when-i-fell-in-love-with-girl-called.html . The way they style their pieces and the way the pieces work around the female body is something I can't ignore. Even though my work focuses particularly on surface pattern and texture, Chloe's colours, advertising and style influence me hugely. I also can't fail to mention Spell & The Gypsy Collective. The most down to earth, loving, passionate girls in all the world, and their designs are truly beautiful. The bohemian spirit is evident in every one. For me, the fact they grew from an independent business like my own into something so big and so wonderful in undeniably influential and inspirational. I'm so thankful I discovered them.
5. What would be a dream come true for you as an artist?
As an artist, a dream come true for me would be to open my own flagship store, filled with my designs and my jewellery and music and incense. I made a playlist for my "hypothetical launch" http://elleshoel.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/playlist-number-1-hypothetical-launch.html . It'd have to be somewhere wonderful like Australia too. A warm evening, with all my favourite people and tasty food & drink and sparkly, innovative clothes. I can see it all in my head... I've just got to work out making it happen!
6. Best advice you've ever received?
When I was making my university choices, I knew without a doubt that I wanted to pursue textiles - it didn't even cross my mind about maybe doing something more academic. Around this time, my mum and dad sat me down at some point, and told me that all they wanted in the world was for me to be happy, and I was to do whatever made me so. That's the best advice I've ever had because it's so true. I'm so happy, and I know I'm going to make something of myself - because I love what I do, I care about what I do and I work really hard!

Stay tuned for my collaboration with Elle Shoel in the near future!! 

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xoxo Tor

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