Citing understated detail and thoughtful design as core to her collection and process, British contemporary womenswear designer Ellen Brookes – founder and designer of Sideline – creates extremely covetable pieces in beautiful fabrics that fit like a dream. These are clothes that make you feel incredible when you put them on…
Experiencing the clothes themselves: I was utterly taken aback by the fit of the the olive grange trousers with their paper bag waist, fabric tie belt and cropped wide leg. It’s the first time I’ve felt so good in a pair of trousers that aren’t jeans! In an XS the length is fine on me with heels (I’m 5ft2), but I might get them taken up to wear with flats. Having tried these, I’m now curious to see what the indigo Lexy trousers are like! The cashmere Merino wool jumper sits so well on the neck and shoulders and has that wonderful shrunken knit feel about its design. Super easy to pull on…
To coincide with the launch of Sideline’s SS17 collection, I asked its founder and designer Ellen about her story…
How did you get into designing clothes and launching your own brand?
I studied fashion design at Brighton University many moons ago and have worked in the industry ever since. I have always specialised in denim and casual wear and after designing for some big brands I decided it was time to give launching my own collection a go. I wanted to make clothes that I would love and feel passionately about. There is so much throw away fashion in the world, I wanted to make clothes that had longevity in both the design and the make of the garments. I’ve been really happy with the response to the collection so far and feel I am building a loyal customer base I would love to see grow.
What do you think about when creating a collection? What guides you?
I think about my friends who I know love the brand; would they wear it, what would they want from the collection? I also think about all the little details that make the clothes feel special from pops of coloured binding to engraved buttons.
Where do you find style inspiration?
Mostly from people but also from art, historical textiles (I’m a big fan of Japanese textiles), ceramics… Fabric is always key to my designs and is always the starting point so I let myself be lead by the fabric rather than trying to fit a fabric to a design. I use fabrics that are interesting in their construction and colour and this gives the collection a unique aesthetic.
What’s your favourite piece from the new collection and why?
Thats a hard one… I really love the grange trousers in olive, I wear them high waisted with my top tucked in… I’ve been wearing them for a while (perk of the job is I get to have the samples after I have finished with them) and get a lot of nice comments whenever I wear them so that makes me feel good. I also love the knitwear, it’s new for this season and is all made in Scotland from really beautiful cashmere and merino wool. I feel excited about adding knitwear to the collection and working with traditional knitters on good old fashioned machinery.