We’re so excited to feature Elleni the Label’s lookbook for her latest collection, ‘Squeaky Clean’.
It’s an almost impossibly adorable tribute to bathtime, featuring soft cloth slides, jumpsuits, pom-pom socks capes, candy-striped pencil skirts, pink turbans, motifs of tabs, tubs and toothpaste!
The collection (which is overflowing with its own personality and sense of humour) was also featured on the runway at the Mercedez-Benz Fashion Festival Brisbane.
Elleni Canaris is a Brisbane-based designer who embraces the cute and the kooky in everything she creates, from her iconic Cherry Pie berets, over-sized pompom hoop earrings, and pastels galore. We were very lucky to chat to her about her Squeaky Clean, her inspirations and her origins as a designer!
Q: When did you first start designing your own clothes and accessories?
A: I’ve always been a bit of a weirdo with fashion, always liking to be different. Not to mention I wasn’t the best looking of kids, with some weight issues, so I could never wear the fast fashion all the girls wore in school. So I’d do things like wear skirts as tops, nighties as dresses and mix styles (not always successfully), until at some point it just turned into who I was.
The weirdo was embraced and I’ve taken that mind-set into my designing – you can wear whatever you want to wear, be who you are. I could never sew, but after beginning to study photography and realising the only thing I really liked about it was styling the shoots, I left and started a fashion course. Learned not only to sew but that I wouldn’t ever leave fashion.
Q: Your new collection is adorable – how did you get the inspiration to base a collection around bath time?
A: Thank you! I love working with fabrics not typical to fashion and love to challenge what is ‘allowed.’ I wanted to use terry towelling (an atypical fabric) to create cute, relatively ‘normal’ garments that may not have even looked like towelling from afar. But then I also wanted to poke fun at the fact that we’re wearing towel outfits, so of course I really hammed it up from everything to accessories (head to toe!) to the photoshoot. You can still break away from the ‘extra’ –ness of the collection and wear one piece with an everyday look, add a touch of quirk here and there as well as going full fairy princess!
Q: What kind of person do you design for?
A: I always say I design for a state of mind rather than a particular person. My market isn’t defined by age, location or any physical quality but more so a shared love of colour, kookiness and happiness. I definitely have an amazing group of quirky, rainbow dolls, who I can always pick from a crowd and that follow my little label. But I don’t limit my design to a particular style. My aim in designing is really to make you smile … customers who share my weird style and fall in love, those who choose a piece here and there, people on the street who see an outfit and giggle, children who can’t look away all the way to little old ladies who approach me saying ‘I would never wear it, but I love it!’
Q: What designers/fashion movements inspire you?
A: Literally everything! I find inspiration absolutely everywhere … I made a collection out of towels! I can find something I love within every fashion trend, collection or movement or I can turn it into something I love. The biggest mistake we make is thinking we can’t wear something because it’s not our style, if you love it…wear it!
That being said I love Japan and Korea (street fashion to pop culture), the 1950s through to 90s, Petite Meller, Vivetta, Meadham Kirchoff (rip), Lazy Oaf, Ulyana Sergeenko. But most of all people. If you‘re looking cute and you hear a gasp behind you, it’s probably me.
Find out more about Elleni the Label by visiting Elleni’s website or following along on Facebook and Instagram.
Full credits: Squeaky Clean by Elleni the Label | Photographer: Jerri Lee Leslie @jerrileeleslie | MUA: Tegan Radford Beauty @teganradford.beauty | Hair: Brooklyn Anderson @brooklyn_oscaroscargardencity | Models: Carrie Fletcher @ carebear, Cecile Blackmore @saintcecile, and Lily Ruvé @lilyruve
Interview and article by Cecile Blackmore | Cecile is a writer from Brisbane, Australia. She writes and edits at The Creative Issue and hoards vintage clothing – follow her adventures on Instagram at @saintcecile.