reintroducing the regular

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A Thread of Thoughts w/ Elliot Design

Words & Handmade Designs: Riley Suchanek of Elliot Design

Styling: Jessi Noel

Photos: Rayneutron

Model: Bisserat Tseggai


I have found my comfort zone in a particular section of the fashion industry. There is a small niche of designers that are independent and are making their own timelines, instead of listening to the traditional seasons. This group of designers are young and are undoubtful in their abilities to make a spot for themselves in the overpopulated fashion scene. 

There are few things that I find in life where I think, “that is perfect and something I didn’t know I would love”. Designers such as Claire Barrow, Shrimps, Sadie Williams, or Ports 1961 all share a special combination of playfulness and sharp taste. I feel as if I have found the perfect Pinterest feed when I look at their lookbooks or installations.

In LA I have noticed and followed the group of minimal designers. They all make you want to throw out your current wardrobe and buy three of their perfect items and never swear again. These few designers have made a comfortable bed for you to lounge in while scrolling through their perfectly white-walled worlds. I admire it and I am always impressed with their consistent staple pieces. So I am confused when I have new ideas for a collection, and color and hand made details unfold. 

I’ve had three collections that I’ve shared and each is way more colorful than any outfit I’ve ever worn. The hardest question to answer is what inspired you? I don’t know how to answer it. I don’t know how to hone in on what specifically inspired each collection. I just have ideas, and that could be formed in the same way that dreams are; your brain picking parts of everyday life and putting them together in weird ways. 

I do battle myself constantly over the industry and what is says about me trying to persue it. The known side of it is judgmental and superficial, and that is not a facade. But, there is also a small side that is nice and passionate about changing the industry. I’ve been lucky enough to work with a few of these people and it has been very nurturing in what I want to build. 

What is exciting about this feature is that it is a new take on an idea I have spent hours with, and have therefore become numb to the original excitement around it. That in itself is what is hard about the fashion industry, for the designer. The process is long and tedious. It isn’t an instant satisfaction like other aspects of fashion, like photography. I’m not discrediting photographers or their craft, I envy the pace they are able to work and show said work. I often second guess following through as a designer because it takes so long to carry an idea out. Especially with just myself. 

Which brings me to another struggle I encounter; translating what I envision for my bodies of work in a polished and perfect form. There is a quote by Ira Glass that I really relate to. He roughly says that many people have good taste but don’t have the experience to back it in the early stages. “Your taste is the reason your work disappoints you” . I definitely feel as if I am in that stage. 

I definitely am going to keep going as a designer and follow those that are making their own rules, that is very inspiring. This particular collection combines the feminine and the androgynous sides of me. I’m so thankful for TYPICAL making me excited all over again about this collection.

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