Conscientious Conceptual Fashion
If you have gazed enviously at images of cool, chic – seemingly effortlessly - stylish influencers, and wondered how you can emulate that particular style, that is as minimalist as a Mondrian, yet every inch as much of a masterpiece, then look no further. With sharp, carefully considered designs, and uncluttered silhouettes at the heart of its ethos, the Elk label epitomizes clean, contemporary style. If you love the simplicity of Scandinavian design, then look no further, because if you’re not already a devotee then watch out, because you’re going to adore the Elk label.
Elk founders, Australian husband and wife team Marnie Goding and Adam Koniaras, have nailed the kind of relaxed, cool girl everyday style that looks fabulous. Operating since 2004, their range has grown organically, and in 2019 covers everything from their signature sculptural jewellery pieces, to understated footwear; classic hand-made leather pieces to ethereal clothing. A comprehensive brand, despite the diversity of products, this is a cohesive label – with the bold central thread of aesthetics being seen as pivotal to every piece. These are works of art translated into textiles.
Born from a love of a northern aesthetic, there is often a monochromatic palette, and natural feel. But for Marnie and Adam it’s also about the obtainability and comfort of their pieces, which are cleverly designed for women of all ages and shapes. Marnie is quoted as saying that she has a ‘would we wear it’ policy, which involves thinking of who the customer is, and how she will get most use from her garments; after all, she comments ‘we’re not creating couture…our items are made to be worn more than once.’
It seems very much that as the brand has grown, the same core values have grown with it. Creativity and authenticity are keywords. You very much get the impression when you flick through the rails, eyes popping at the beauty of a new collection (they are released every six months) that design is more than just a word. These aren’t pieces that have been churned out to appease the fast fashion market, they are pieces that have been sketched, created and sewn so that the original concept translates into the end result.
Fundamental to Elk is a commitment to ethically sourced, sustainable fashion. In a world, where, let’s face it, preaching is a lot easier than practicing, these are pretty admirable qualities. It’s also a business model that independent retailers such as Wendys and Tilda, love, because it resonates with their own core values. Elk works with family owned factories internationally (who they visit numerous times a year), they believe in supporting traditional trades, and they pride themselves on giving back to these communities. Their motto is ‘designed in Melbourne, handmade globally’, and they are transparent about where, how and with what their pieces are made.
When you feel like someone is working this hard to produce fashion that not only makes you look fabulous, but that you can feel good about wearing (and you don’t need to re-mortgage the house to buy) – it’s hard not to fall in love with the concept as much as the incredible pieces themselves.
Written By Nicky Adams