Archive for the ‘Thulie’ Category

Designers of Color: Thulie Ellis

October 26, 2009

Australian designer Thulie Ellis found her fashion calling at an early a age. Born in South Africa and raised in New Zealand, Thulie was inspired by her surroundings, enhancing her love of fashion. After a stint at FBI, Syndey’s premier fashion school, Thulie decided to launch her own collection.

Blending femininity and glamour, she created, “Flashes on the Silver Screen”, which launched earlier this year. Thulie created the collection with the modern woman in mind, a woman who enjoys the lush feel of silk against her skin or the dangling of pearls against her neck. Thulie welcomes Chocolate Fashion Blog readers to the Thulie experience, a contemporary collection with a story to tell.  

Q. What inspires you as a fashion designer? How do you come up with your ideas?

A. Fashion has always been one of the great loves of my life so it’s fair to say I get inspiration from everything in life. I can’t remember the last time I watched a movie, read a blog or magazine or went to the beach without being inspired and itching to go home and get new concepts onto paper. Most recently and in reference to my latest collection my inspiration has been old school. 6 months ago on a lazy Sunday afternoon I watched Dorothy Dandridge strut her stuff in Carmen Jones in what can only be described as carefully constructed ingenious effortless designs. In the following weeks I found myself renting every movie produced from 1949 to 1970 pen in paper in hand with excitement.

Q. Who is your fashion idol and why?

A. Its hard to pinpoint one person and say yeah she is my idol, she is always flawless and I want what she’s having in my size. Just like the average person the fashion icons have their fair share of hit and misses. If I was to say who I admire it would be a mix between Halle Berry and Eva Longoria. They both dress per the occasion but still manage to exude style and sex appeal. Halle is aware of her fabulous body and dresses like she knows it! Eva Longoria is a little of the old Hollywood glamour and is forever feminine which I love.

Q. Other than your own brand, what fashion brands/designers do you admire?

A. Designers I admire there are so many for such different reasons I absolutely adore Edith Head because she exudes raw natural talent. Coming from humble beginnings in a male dominated arena Edith had no formal fashion education but designed master pieces for the likes of Audrey Hepburn and Bette Davis need I say more on the matter! If you were to ask me about a modern day Designer I would have to say the Versace fashion house as a whole. Gianni Versace in my opinion adored all woman and his master pieces are evidence of this. In a time where woman where all about the power suit Versace made it feminine and I really aspire to that. Since the reign of Donatella she is kept the best parts of her brother’s vision and has taken my breath away time and time again with her ageless masterpieces.

Q. Describe your target customer and how wearing Thulie would make her feel. What is she like?

A. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am a dreamer, so instead of designing for a specific woman in mind I designed for the occasion instead. In a lifetime a woman will go through a lot of firsts; the first date, your 21st, your first job interview, the first day at your dream job, an engagement party, attending your best friend’s wedding the list is endless but what I am trying to say is that the Thulie customer buys with a occasion in mind and wants something that is timeless to savior in her wardrobe while standing out amongst a crowd. I want her to savor the excitement of getting ready as much as I do. My hope is that by the time she has put her make up on, done her hair, painted her nails putting on one of my garments is like getting to the best bit of a piece of cake it’s the part you have been waiting for and its every bit worth the anticipation.

Q. How different is fashion in South Africa compared to what you’ve seen or know of American fashion?

A. Having grown up in New Zealand raised by a South African mother and gaining my fashion exposure from Australia I consider myself very lucky to have been exposed to such different but wonderful extremes of fashion. My personal opinion on New Zealand fashion is it is in a league of its own. It’s purely about individuality and not about what hot according the latest celebrity I really respect that about Kiwi woman. My take on South African fashion is purely what I witnessed growing up which is dress up for every occasion. I love that South African woman dress themselves up in their Sunday bests even if it is only for a trip down to the corner store for milk! Australian designers continue to make my jaw drop there is such talent here is astonishing. In my mind Australian fashion is at the top of the fashion game while remaining true to the Australian clientele I mean come on to create a garment that is glamorous enough to wear to a awards show but just as perfect for the girl partying at her local club/pub/bar on a Saturday that night that’s talent. While all of the above have be great influences in my fashion education this story could not be told without great mention of the American influence. I still find it astounding that for such a large country America is still turning out some of the most unbelievably talented designers. I have to say when ever I need a quick fix of fashion I can always rely on New York fashion week to boost my creative flow.

Q. What’s the best fashion advice you’ve ever received?

A. The best fashion advice I have ever received is “Make it your Own”. As simple as this statement is I truly live by it and am grateful for the advice. Each season we are introduced to so many trends and its easy to get swept away in all the excitement. With time I have learned to take a step back take a deep breath and tailor trends to what suits me. As fabulous as Kate Moss is my background is Zulu with a proud Zulu body to boot so what suits her may not suit me and vice-versa so I may take a little of what she is wearing but make it work for me adding a touch of Thulie to my wardrobe.

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