Two graduating UCA students from the Royal School of Needlework (RSN), Charlie Ellis and Abigail Noronha have big ambitions for their first year out of university. They have joined together to form the brand Ellis + Noronha, and are bringing out their first collection in September 2019 to coincide with London Fashion Week. With a unique set of skills, they are taking traditional hand embroidery techniques and using them in a contemporary way to produce work that is innovative and exciting.
Graduating from BA (Hons) Hand Embroidery this summer, Charlie and Abigail are keen to champion the course and its impact upon their career thus far: “We would definitely recommend the course to other students. The technical abilities you learn whilst here are amazing, and the encouragement to use them in a contemporary way means that graduates of this course are unlike many other graduates in the industry. The one-to-one student support is unlike any other course we've heard of, and we know we certainly wouldn't be starting this brand and aiming as high as we are without the support we've had at RSN.”
The Ellis + Noronha brand that Charlie and Abigail created, is based around producing high-quality hand embroidered body adornments, which are somewhere between garments and accessories, statement pieces that are pieces of art you can wear on your body. The collections will be modern, couture and individual.
So why did Charlie and Abigail choose to collaborate together? “We've worked for six fashion designers over the last few years including Alexander McQueen, Hussein Chalayan, Jasper Conran and Pam Hogg. We've experienced multiple studio environments, all with different approaches to how they use our unique skills. Unfortunately, due to cost and speed, a lot of hand embroidery is no longer produced here in London. This is a real shame because there are people like us who love what we do! As passionate young designers, we want to show our vision for the future of hand embroidery in fashion. This involves an alternative to the fast-fashion attitudes that drive people to send their embroidery to other countries, and bring the handcrafted element back to the London fashion arena,” said Charlie.
Starting with the launch collection in September 2019, Charlie and Abigail want to use the momentum of London Fashion Week to propel their brand on to the fashion scene. Following this initial collection, they will produce a small collection each season, showcase their skills and continue to develop as London based design creatives.
“We'd have to say, maybe most importantly, the BA Hand Embroidery course has given us the confidence and drive to think bigger for ourselves, and not underestimate what we can achieve,” said Charlie.
In order to reach their goals, Charlie and Abigail have set up a Kickstarter project to help fund their launch event, helping to prove that hand embroiderers can stand amongst fashion designers, not just behind them.
To find more information about the Kickstarter project and to make a pledge, click below:
For more information on Ellis + Noronha visit: www.ellisnoronha.co.uk