They say mental health and creativity function effectively together, and EELLS, an established London-based designer, maker, and restorer, is a definition of that. A year since the release of Assemble From Memory, an inspirational collection made from memory-triggering pieces, reassembled to create a new narrative.
To celebrate this milestone of a collection, EELLS welcomes me to her sanctuary, her Brixton studio, discussing growth, strength, the cleansing process, and getting through to the other side.
“It is home for me,” she says. “I feel lucky for this space. This collection became a cathartic process for me to handle and work through painful periods of grief, loss, self-doubt, coming out, finding love during the pandemic, and pretty much everything else.”
During the darkest times, EELLS has demonstrated you can turn deep lows and create absolute magic. “During this period, you don’t really know what you are going through, and now it feels much more removed,” she says. “I like how I am moving and comfortable with what I produce. However, before I looked for validation from people, now I don’t.”
Stemming from alums of the Royal College of Art, EELLS developed through a series of projects. It all started with building patchwork t-shirts using the fabric from pre-existing jersey items sourced from charity shop rag bags or donations, and her masterpieces developed from there.
A brand that “intertwines fabrics from past lives into functional garments for the wearer to continue sharing their story.” EELLS aims to glorify the beauty of construction within every piece.
The progressive designer has worked with Mark Leckey for Tate Britain, Converse, Goodhood, and CONGREGATION Design and started this project during the pandemic. “I hadn’t been to my studio in a long time. I had been religiously making masks for various people and charities. I didn’t know what to do, but I planned to start a new project.”
She adds: “There wasn’t much money in the pot, and I could only work with what I had in the studio. It was a project set to work with only what I had available, with a hold on purchasing other fabrics or landfill-destined items.”
“Assemble For Memory, was one of those things that came out through my situation. All I will say, life does throw you some rough patches. I am lucky to have a studio, material to work with, and a brain. Gifts of time don’t always come, so I felt it was now, or I would go on about a collection for another four years.