This week we talked to the lovely talent that is Ellen Brookes - founder and designer of British label, Sideline. Her much anticipated Autumn Winter collection has landed so we wanted to get a little glimpse of the woman behind the work. We talk denim, Patti Smith and tequila. It's worth a read!
Photo by Anna Starmer
Tell us about this AW18' collection. 'This season is all about authentic rigid denim reinvented in new shapes, super cosy patterned knitwear, and some Sideline favourite silhouettes worked into new fabrics such as cord. I think my favourite item this season are the Pia Jeans - I’m a total denim addict and have so many pairs but this fit is just what I want to wear right now (even in this never ending heat). As always I take inspiration from my friends. I have so many incredible women in my life doing amazing things and I’m always inspired by their energy and creativity.'
3 words that best describe your label.
'Effortless, timeless, unique.'
Who or what have been the biggest influences of your work? 'My family are a massive inspiration to me - I have two young children and since becoming a mum I have found the courage to do things that I was fearful of before (like starting SIDELINE). I love that my kids are so full of interest and wonder for the world -they inspire me everyday. I hope that I inspire them by working hard to create something I love and feel proud of. Sometimes it’s hard work doing this on my own and they also get to see the stress, but hopefully overall they will feel inspired to work hard at whatever makes them happy too.'
What is the oldest piece of clothing you own? 'I own so many pieces of old clothing, I’m not totally sure what is the oldest. My favourite is a Jean Muir dress that I have worn so many times. It’s a black dress with a nude pink ruffle. The fit and detail make it feel so special and actually very contemporary. I also have a ton of vintage denim - some of which is very old and has been patched and repaired by previous owners. I love that denim just gets better with age and is worth mending.'
If you weren't a designer, what would you be?
Do you have any advice to your younger self?
'Don’t drink the tequila, it’s never a good idea.'
What book do you have on the go right now? 'I’ve just finished 'Calypso' by David Sedaris which is great. I laughed out loud on several occasions, it’s so fresh and honest. I also have to mention my friend Lulah Ellender’s book 'Elizabeth’s Lists' which I've also read recently. It was the book that got me back into reading after a bit of an accidental break.'
Where's 'home'? Do you have any favourite local haunts? 'I live in Lewes with my husband and two kids. We moved here from Stoke Newington about 9 years ago and although I still love London (especially Stoke Newington) we have never looked back. I spend a lot of my time on the South Downs and draw a lot of inspiration from this beautiful countryside - It’s also formed the backdrop for most of the Sideline shoots.
When it comes to going out I tend to go to Brighton as it has such great food options. I love Cincin for amazing fresh made pasta, Riddle and Finns for seafood, and Black Mocha for brunch. We have some great pubs in Lewes - I particularly like the Lewes Arms and The Swan.'
If you could dress an icon in Sideline, who would you dress?' Maybe Patti Smith - I mean she has her own style going on but she is just so amazingly cool. I saw her live recently for the first time and she blew me away, I adore her strength - so inspiring. I think she would totally rock the Pia Jeans!'
Autumn Winter or Spring Summer?
'Autumn Winter for sure. I just love crisp, sunny mornings and I much prefer a winter wardrobe, so many more options and creative ways to layer.'
Lucky for Hub, her beautiful Autumn Winter 18' collection is now available in-store and online.
(Come and try on the Pia before they disappear!)