Rhianna Ellington

Overtly girly and yet tonal airbrush art work? A love for overlooked British design label Meadham Kirchhoff? And an appreciation for Disney? I . Am. In.

Rhianna Ellingtons’ work is a dreamscape of pastiche inspirations, textural art work that looks good enough to eat and vivid but muted tones…if that makes sense. Looking at her work it is clear to see she has previously worked with luxury fashion houses. Rhiannas’ work is honed, polished and considered- with a concise vision of what it is she wants to achieve. From the work that is already being produced, it is clear to see that her future sustainable projects will be totally delicious; this can be seen in her dreamy facemasks and art prints that are currently available. I love finding artists like her, with a similar set of interests and passions, the art that is produced is 100% right up my street and I, honestly, can’t wait to see what she’s got up her sleeves.

Finally, lets just put our hands together for the collages I was sent by Rhianna. The colours, textures and references. So. Good.

  1. Tell us about yourself and your brand/work. 

I am an English textiles and surface pattern designer who specialises in fabric development, printed textiles and digital design. In 2018 I completed a Masters in Textiles Print at the Royal College of Art and since then I have been working as a fabric developer in the luxury fashion industry for brands such as Acne Studios and Erdem. Currently I am focused on freelancing and developing my own design practice.

  1. What are your Inspirations?

There are so many things that inspire me, from fashion designers, films, cartoons and artists. I have listed a few below.
I love 80s airbrush artwork and advertisements, for example Pater Sato, Yosuke Onishi and Masao Saito are some of my favourites.
I also get a lot of inspiration from nature, the sky and being outdoors.
A lot of my work is very colourful and I get some of my colour inspiration from cartoons and anime! I once based my colour palette for a project from a scene from Disney’s Fantasia. Recently my colour palettes have been getting a lot darker and the inspiration behind this has come from re-watching a lot of David Lynch films such as Lost Highway, Blue Velvet and the TV show Twin Peaks.
Some of my favourite fashion designers that inspire me are Ashley Williams, Mimi Wade, Mowalola, Gucci, as well as vintage collections from Dior, Jean Paul Gaultier and Issey Miyake. Meadham Kirchhoff was the first designer that made me really want to work as a fashion textiles artist.  

  1. Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help? 

A little of both. I have a love/hate relationship with social media! It has really helped me build an audience for my work but I find it a very negative environment and it is becoming harder and harder to grow through social media.

  1.  Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice? 

I am currently working towards starting my own sustainable, slow fashion brand, focusing on my prints, artwork and fabrics. I really hope that it will grow slowly and I can share my work this way.
My advice for anyone wanting to do something similar is to take your time with it. I am so glad I took time away from my work and spent some time in the industry, as it made me realise what is important to me as a designer and how I want to develop. I have wanted to have my own brand forever and I want to do things sustainably, slowly and beautifully.

 5.Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things?

I love this questions! I have listed a few below.
Vona (@bravona) is a lingerie/corset designer.Cursed (@yoursocursed) is a new brand set up by a mother and her two daughters.Leigh Miller (@leighmillerjewelry) who makes handmade sculptural jewellery.Pauline Bonnet (@paulinebonnt) who is a ceramic and glass designerIria Ashimine (@iria_mine) a Japanese jewellery brandAnna Mills (@annam.lls) Designer/artistJosefin Zachrisson (@josefinzachrisson) Artist, designer and model. Paula Codoner (@paulacodoner) PhotographerAnna Koak (@annakoak) ArtistLuna Crochet Studio (@LunaCrochetStudio ) Handmade crochet garments made in Copenhagen.Emma Brewin (_emmabrewin_) Clothing brand

Psychic Outlaw by Rebecca Wright.

As Instagram start-up businesses go, Psychic Outlaw have grown from strength to strength, with an instantly recognisable product. Now with a small team working on this recycling, reimagining and handmade goodness, this business is an absolute success story- owner and creator Rebecca Wright must be so proud of the community she’s formed.

With two main product options available- the quilted collection and bandanna collections- this focus on a classic silhouette alongside vintage and recycled fabrics is a win. With a tailored, one off service you are able to have your dream coat or jacket created just for you: Psychic Outlaw is the epitome of sustainable small batch making and is a new and exciting way of consuming fashion.

I once saw the team address peoples concerns about their use of antique quilts, which is a totally fair concern as many of these vintage quilts are the result of the creators love and hard work; with the concern that these timeless patchworks are being cut up for a, dare I say it, current trend. These concerns were met with absolute understanding, awareness and respect for the vintage, one-off fabrics they are using- with many of the quilts they offer being damaged beyond repair or the customer supplying their own. Psychic Outlaw, in my opinion, provides a service whereby customers are able to reimagine and recycle cherished fabrics, re-creating a family heirloom or much loved vintage quilt and giving it a new lease of life.

The individual service that is available within this growing business should be recognised by large retail giants. With a genuine concern and love for their customers and appreciators, Psychic Outlaw is paving the way for an exciting and personal online retail approach.

See what Rebecca answered to the usual questions…

  1. Tell us about yourself and your brand. I began sewing as a child, making outfits for my dolls with hand stitching & hot glue. I got more into fashion in my mid 20’s & I decided to make it my career. In college I studied Fibres & Textile Design, fashion has always just been a fun hobby/ way of self expression. I was originally using the Psychic Outlaw name as my vintage clothing resale shop and then I started adding in a few of my handmade pieces here and there. When I saw the demand more specifically for my handmade goods, that is when I decided to go full force with my handmade items which was the birth of Psychic Outlaw as we know it today. 
  1. What are your Inspirations?  The textiles themselves inspire me within Psychic Outlaw. I’m a textile freak! I love anything vintage and cool and beautiful. I see something I love, and want to figure out how to wear it. Fashion is so important to me so I always try to combine textiles and fashion. I have a great love of thrifting and adventure hunting – being creative with what you have is my true inspiration.
  1. Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help? Social media is an amazing tool if you are a business trying to connect with people. It provides the ability to give great customer service without having a store front. That’s a big reason why our brand does really well – we respond to all DMs and talk to our customers everyday.
  1.  Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice? I think that the way that I’d like to grow is to have more products and more designs. I would love for COVID to go away so we can start attending events within our community. I love to have really good products to go along with our classics and to continue to recycle and build within our community of creatives. My advice would be to never stop creating, finish what you start, and work on your art everyday.

5. Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things? @Lifershop, @shesbobbylynn @squidvishuss, @mercedezrexdesigns @shelbyrahe, @jxnart, and many vintage sellers

Mantel by Sadie Perry

A zip file of insanely satisfying and beautifully considered images were sent by Sadie, owner and creator of Mantel, alongside her answers to the usual questions. These images epitomise the visual language of Mantel and it really is SO SO delicious. colour combinations alongside ‘good’ design, strong shapes and harsher metals coincide with softer florals and pastels. Honestly, the mantels and vintage products that Sadie styles are on another level.

Having known Sadie since secondary school (Hi there fellow grunger!) and watched as she has formed her impeccable taste, it really has been a pleasure to see Mantel come into fruition. As Sadie mentions below, she gravitates towards well designed items and unusual forms, as is evident throughout her stock choices; from Art Nouveau to handmade, craft vessels- it is clear there is a running theme of objects that will be noticed and draw the eye….in a “don’t look at me” way, ya’know?

Sadie offers interior styling alongside her vintage finds and to be honest, if you have a mantel you should probably get her on board. Here is what she has to say about Mantel, her inspirations and future plans…

  1. Tell us about yourself and your brand. 

Hello, I’m Sadie and I am the founder of Mantel, an online (at the moment!) shop selling vintage homeware objects. Before this I had a jewellery brand but I have always been a big collector (aka hoarder) of decorative objects and ornaments so it felt like a natural step for me to share some of the things I find and make it into a business. I would say the common thread with the things I buy for myself and the shop would be well designed pieces and unusual forms that have a strong presence in a room, with a slight element of humour or character like unexpected proportions or really clearly visibly handmade ceramics.

2. What are your Inspirations? 

• I studied History of Art, Design and Film at university, specialising in film for my dissertation and became obsessed with set design, particularly those centred around the home interiors of the characters. I look to film as a huge inspiration when styling my own room or choosing objects for the shop – some of my favourite directors for aesthetic inspiration are Eric Rohmer, Roman Polanski, Claude Chabrol, Luis Bunuel and more recently Luca Guadagnino.

• Home visits – in my spare time, aside from car boots, I love going to house tours. My two absolute favourites are Charleston Farmhouse in Sussex and Casa Barragan in Mexico City. I’d love to go to Carlo Mollino’s home in Turin once we can safely travel again!

• Mexico is my favourite place in the world – I’ve been there several times and I never get bored of it. I studied silver jewellery making there a few years back, and fell in love with the colours and all the amazing craft they make there, and have got some of my most treasured objects from there. And the people are so lovely!

• Art Deco – I love Jean Michel Frank interior design, Jean Royere and Josef Hoffmann designed objects, as well as all the carpets from that era.

• Paintings – I get really obsessed with colour combinations – some of my current favourite painters are Mamma Andersson and Norbert Schwontonski. 

• My family and friends are a constant source of inspiration for me. I am so lucky to be surrounded by people who are all so talented in what they do and also supportive, down to earth and funny – my mum has an amazing eye for interiors, my dad is really musically creative, my sister works in mental health and my best friends have all got really varied jobs from science to PR to hairdressing to artist studio assistant. I wouldn’t be able to get through life without them!

3. Lets chat about social media- a hindrance or help? 

I think from a business point of view it’s a big help, it’s been the best place for me to find other amazing brands and like minded people and also be found by them! In terms of personal I’m not so sure – it can be so easy to go down a rabbit hole of comparing yourself when you are having a bad day or worrying. But I think when you set yourself boundaries and keep it positive it’s a good thing and allows you to share inspiration and collaborate with others.

4.  Where would you like your business to be in a few years and do you have any advice? 

I would love to be sourcing and selling objects full time. It would be my absolute dream to spend my days travelling around the world to markets, car boots and house clearances and sharing some of the things I find there. It would be amazing to have a physical space too where I could style the objects and meet the people who support me by buying from the shop. Hopefully one day! In terms of advice, I think just going for what you are passionate about and trying it, however unconfident you feel, is the best way to go. I spent so many years worrying that I wasn’t good enough or needed to be perfect before I did anything. But I think we have a tendency to be our own worst critics so you have to just ignore those nagging worries and do it! And always be nice to people, you never know what anyone’s going through.

5. Who are your favourite small businesses or creatives doing interesting things?

I think @anoushapayne ceramics are amazing, @karlfritschrings jewellery, @ikoikospace textiles and home objects, my friend @mimikerpel’s woven vases and @quindry_antiques selection of antiques. I’d also love to go and stay at independently run @villamagnan in Biarritz – the decor is incredible and I love that area of France.