Posted on August 05 2016
I often talk about ElementAll being a capsule wardrobe, so let’s start there. The phrase “capsule wardrobe” was coined by Susie Faux who was the owner of a London boutique called “Wardrobe” in the 1970s. Susie described a capsule wardrobe as “a collection of a few essential items of clothing that don't go out of fashion and can be enhanced with seasonal pieces” and accessories.
This idea of a small, timeless wardrobe which could be easily accessorised had always made sense to me, but my desire intensified during the years I was travelling through Asia for work. I came to want a simple, sustainably made, wardrobe which could be worn in varied climates and social situations. When it came time to create the ElementAll range, I made comfort, versatility & sustainability the key elements of the designs.
As I worked through the design process I became increasingly interested in another design element, accessibility. Initially I had been advised that it was impossible to create pieces that would work for every woman. Yet I was inspired by the traditional tunics I had seen women wearing in India that managed to be both flattering and functional for a huge variety of shapes and sizes! By working with talented local pattern makers we came up with designs which do their best to flatter everyone.
I was determined to use locally sourced merino and have the clothes produced in New Zealand. It wasn’t easy to find manufacturers who could provide the quality of fabric I wanted in the small quantities my young business could afford. And how to do all of the above and still be able to price the garments so they would be broadly affordable? The solution was to skip the shop front and sell direct to customers at gatherings of fabulous women (watch this space!), by email and through our website www.elementall.nz
With ElementAll I hope to have created pieces which can provide a stylish, versatile and sustainable wardrobe for all women, at least as many women as possible! I believe we all have beauty, power and grace. We are fiery and nurturing, sexy and smart, emotional and strong. The growing group of women wearing ElementAll embody all these qualities and I look forward to sharing the first of story of one of these ElementAll women in the next blog post.
P.S. The featured image used is one of my early vision boards for ElementAll and speaks to the versatility of the clothing. It includes a photo of me obviously wearing a black tunic (the very first prototype) giving a presentation in a very warm Costa Rica and also - although you can't see it! - wearing it, layered over jeans, in the snow.