Graduate Spotlight: Carly Ellis

I must confess, after reading Westminster graduate Carly Ellis's interview answers, I fell a little bit in love with her and want to run around in London dressed in UV clothes with her...

But anyway, Carly Ellis's designs are more than sportswear, they are not only UV, they're also sequins and they glow in the dark. I must say, I cannot pull off wearing streetwear but I am a massive fan of designers such as Ashish and Jeremy Scott and admire all the work that must go into it. Carly's designs are definitely up there with the best of them, even Hilary Alexander thinks so.

Carly's work was also featured in a recent shoot with Rankin to celebrate the opening of this years' Graduate Fashion Week, the image from this shoot is the last image in the selection above featuring an awesome heat map print.

I caught up with Carly to chat about London, black lights and MIA...

Let's start simple, tell us a little bit about yourself...
Im 22, from St. Helens, Merseyside, but have lived in London for 4 years.
I am a sportswear designer with Blue hair, i like bright colours, loud music and finding a bargain on the Whoops! in the supermarket.

What was the inspiration for your collection?
The book "Ultra Violet - Black Light Images of the Aquarian Age" was the starting point for my collection. Blindingly bright futuristic images graced the pages and left me exploding with inspiration, and I looked into how I could create the same UV effect on garments. The printed fabrics in the collection were all bespoke, designed by heat pressing UV designs on top of sequin fabrics, so not only do they glow, they glitter!
Following the UV theme, I used Live Edge Perspex to construct garments and create giant embellishments giving the printed fabric a three dimensional edge.
Also, I have always found myself frustrated when buying clothes, I am obsessed with sportswear but find it difficult to find garments that are appropriate for more formal occasions. I wanted to create evening-sportswear, giving diversity to a regimented and repetitive sportswear market, something which Hilary Alexander commented about on the Telegraph Online,
"Carly Ellis, of Westminster University, hit a niche with her collection of 'evening-inspired sportswear', all of which actually glows under UV light."

You are also a stylist, who would you most like to style? (person or designer)
MIA. Everytime.

How did you find Westminster and would you recommend it to others?
It was recommended by one of my tutors at my art foundation, I also knew designer Cassetteplaya had studied here, so i was sold! I would defo recommend to others, the teachers, opportunities and course itself has been absolutely amazing and I'm so, so, so sad its over.

If you could work for any designer, who would it be and why?
Designers which I find continuously invigorating and would love to learn from and work alongside are Basso and Brooke: for their innovation in digital printing, Cassetteplaya for always being one step ahead and effortlessly cool, Jean Charles de Castelbajac for his light hearted approach to fashion, Jeremy Scott for making sportswear sexy, Alexander Wang for his perfect combination of couture and sportswear, Ashish because of the sequins and KTZ because they dont give a f***.

What did you want to be when you were younger?
I have always wanted to be a designer!!! When i was in nursery I would say to my mum in the morning "im not wearing that!" then sneak a change of clothes in my bag, she would pick me up and I would be in a crazy outfit! I also used to sit at my grans and make fashion magazines. It was never a conscious decision, just something I have always known.

How would you describe your own personal style?
Colourful, optimistic, street.

What are your favourite magazines and blogs?
I love SuperSuper magazine! It has exciting and refreshing shoots and layouts rather than polished boring and contrived fashion like in some of the glossies! Blogwise, I love fruition and katelovesme.

Where is your favourite place in the World?
LONDON!!!!!!!!!! nowhere in the world does fashion like London. I have never visited Tokyo or New York so would love to go there tho, I defo love city life!

What's the best way to relax after all the stress of finishing a collection?
I hate relaxing!!! I'm so bored already, free time is over rated. Some one give me something to do!!!

For more information, images and contact details, visit Carly's website.


  1. Wahoo, St. Helens!=D
    Great interview and pics!

    Off The Wardrobe


  3. Great post & interview! Love the colourful designs x

  4. I find it intresting that both your designer today and yesterday have both said they dont like to realx. I totally emapthise with them I like to be on the move too. So much to do. Nice selection of new designers you are bringing us. I am really enjoying your Q&A's Xxxx

  5. Reminds me a little of Jeremy Scott??


  6. Such trippy fashion! so colorful and acid looking ; u ;
    ...and you got to interview the designer? How lucky!
    Awesome post c:

    ~ Orphin's Domains ~

  7. Yeah, I could NEVER pull this off. I know why she wants to dress MIA - I want to be her, she is so beautiful and talented!

    Charlotte xx

    The Style Rail

  8. Oh my wow, there is so much talent out there. I hope she gets her dream job. I want her threads

  9. She sounds so awesome and a lot of fun to hang out with! Her designs are amazing.

  10. great interview, sounds like a great innovator

  11. hi,
    incredibly beautiful and extremely creative, more such proposals.
    Wonderful post, love it


  12. I like things that glow in the dark!! and i would love to get outfits that do that ehhehehe. The clothes are so amazing because i have always adore neon coloured pieces and GAH!! this !! is EPIC <3<3 They look so electro and awesome. Love this post, the outfits,the pictures to bits eheh
    Carly Ellis, I love you!

    hehe XD eeek :$ sorry for that but yeah i really love this :D xxxxx

  13. Oh I love this interview! Thanks so much for doing it haha! i love her stuff, i blogged about it too and saw her when chatting ot the supersuper lot - Shes my kind of girl, ill be watching her! :D


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