Meeting Ellis Biemans, the girl behind the collections

Meeting Ellis Biemans, the girl behind the collections

Apr 15, 2011 |  by  |  Fashion
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Her office/showroom/think-tank is situated in the heart of the city: the former Volkskrant building that is now being used as a creative hub for young entrepreneurs. It’s tiny but very cosy, and it breathes the feel of fashion. Entering Ellis’ private world means encountering numerous naked fitting dolls, racks and racks of clothing and a peculiar looking fox that was missing an ear. All the more reasons for me to do this interview and introduce you guys to this lovely, not yet famous, but very upcoming fashion designer Ellis Biemans.

Ellis on her career

The decision to be a fashion designer was a no-brainer for Ellis. When I ask her why she chose this industry, she reminisces on the days when she was younger and she would watch her mother sew her clothes. Ellis: “My mom is such a creative person who can make any garment from scratch. I remember being fascinated by her fabrics, her way of sewing and the way a simple piece of fabric would turn into something wearable. When I was older, I just couldn’t think of anything else to study than the art of fashion.”

Ellis graduated almost two years ago and for a while she did styling jobs to build up her resume and gain some experience. She then decided it was time to start working on her very own collection, something that was a mix between the real and imaginative worlds we live in.

Styling by Ellis Biemans


Ellis on her collections

“I’ve always been incredibly inspired by Russia,” Ellis tells me when I ask her what the overall idea behind her collections is. “There’s something about the country that grabs my attention. I’m also a bit obsessed with all kinds of dancers, classical ballet dancers in particular,” she continues. With all of her clothes so far, she has been trying to tell a story about how minimal artists and people are being replaced by robots. Her aim is to transform something usable into something decorative. That is why her collections begin with very romantic pieces, but end in architectural and ‘robotic’ creations.

I like transforming romantic clothing into architectural creations with a robotic feel.

Ellis on the highlights of her career

“So far, the highlight for me has definitely been my first very own fashion show, during the Downtown program of last year’sAmsterdam International Fashion Week at Club Trouw,” Ellis proudly tells me. She elaborates on how she arranged everything herself: from the location and the invites to the models, hair and make-up. A great feeling, yet an incredible amount of work. “But it was definitely worth the effort,” she says. “I got so many positive responses since that show, it’s been quite overwhelming. It made me realize how bad I want to make a living out of what I love to do.”

Ellis Biemans show during Downtown Fashion Week Amsterdam

Ellis Biemans show during Downtown Fashion Week Amsterdam

When I ask her if she can make a living out of her clothes, she smiles shyly and tells me that she is not even close to that yet. But Ellis points out that she’s in a very exciting phase in her career, for she’ll be part of an exhibition of the Fashion Clash this summer, something she always wanted to do. In Ellis’ words: “I realize I won’t be able to make a living out of this for the next two or three years, but as long as there is progress and people are interested in my designs, I am more than willing to do whatever I can to make it work.”

Ellis on Amsterdam

Although Ellis was born in a small town, she always knew she wanted to move to Amsterdam. “I love living here,” Ellis tells me. “It’s almost like a small village where everyone knows each other, but yet it’s big enough to get lost if I really want to be alone. The city has a huge impact on my creative path, because I get inspired by the people in Amsterdam on a daily basis. I like being dragged into the chaos of the city.”

Amsterdam inspires me on a daily basis, I like being dragged into the chaos.

Ellis on her ultimate dream

Ellis tells me that her ultimate dream is not one of many facets, nor very complicated: “I just want to be able to make a living out of this and ultimately, I’d love to be a healthy fashion brand, without having to deal with the issues of finance and marketing. I just want to focus on the creative aspect, there’s no need for me to be commercial or really big. For me it’s all about staying true to my vision, creating beautiful things and being happy.”

Ellis also elaborated on her future plans. She is planning on producing some signature Plexiglas pieces into affordable and wearable jewelry. The architectural lines of the accessories of some of these Plexiglas pieces in her previous collections are very well done in my opinion.

My thoughts on Ellis

When I left Ellis’ small office I felt very content: I cannot stress enough how happy it makes me to see people go after what they love to do most in the world. And in Ellis’ case, I really hope she can continue designing because the pieces she showed me were beyond amazing. I wish I could wear all of them; from the open leather harness that she combines with a long, sheer dress to my ultimate favorite piece: the harness made entirely out of Plexiglas and cut with a laser. Creative, interesting and above all, made with passion.

Browse through the gallery to get a feel of Ellis’ style, her clothes and to understand the girl behind the collections.

Feature image via Jardin De La Mode

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