Alex & Eli is all about understated confidence. This New York based label, a collaboration between Parsons graduate Anna Zeman and Aja Singer, is built around a focus on suiting for women. I love that their silhouettes are so modern and clean. It is a pleasure to have Anna and Aja participate in Paper-Doll’s Designer Interview series.

How did you get into fashion design?
Alex & Eli: We have both been passionate about the arts from a very young age as well as the precision and intellect of science and this perfectly translated to a career in design where we can both express ourselves distinctively and intellectually.

What is the first thing you designed (personally or professionally)?
The first thing we designed professionally/collaboratively was a pair of extreme high-waisted, tapered, pleated trousers: still a definitive pieces in our collection today.

When did you launch your Alex & Eli?
Immediately following our graduation from Parsons.

What inspires you / your work?
It could be anything…. from a piece of gum on the ground to a scene in an old film.

Describe your SS’10 Collection.
The S/S 10 collection was inspired by Studio 54 with a focus on Bianca Jagger and the effortless, killer way she wore suits. There was an ease to the way women dressed back then; the look was polished and relaxed. The collection plays with this concept by experimenting with linen; which has its own unique and lived in quality, and created a suit with shorts or trousers in white and pastel linen.

We also utilized unique hardware findings to play up the glam reference of the era. The colors have a flirtatious innocence which is a direct contrast to the leather suspension body-con suiting that finish the collection; a day to night transition. These concepts are derived from Studio 54, and images of a very young Brooke Shields hanging out with Debbie Harry and the rest of the Studio crowd, a reference to both innocence and sexuality.
What is your favourite piece from your SS’10 Collection?
We would have to say our favourite piece from this collection is the Slip Dress. It is our first ever dress, an easy, sexy slip that’s perfect for the warm weather. The flirtatious sheer chiffon panel effortlessly allows the look to transition from the office to a night out; it can be belted, paired with a sharp blazer or worn alone with a great pair of heels.

Did you have a personal soundtrack or a favourite album that you listened to while working on SS’10?
Yes, we were absolutely obsessed with the Talking Heads!

What area of your work do you enjoy the most?
Building the collection is like putting together a puzzle, making colour, texture and mood translate to a cohesive concept is the most challenging and exciting part of the process

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
The most difficult aspect is editing down the creative process!

What is the most surprising thing that has happened to you as a designer?
We had a very specific girl in mind when we started the collection and it is exciting to see the wide variety of people who appreciate what we are doing.
If you could collaborate with any designer / artist / musician / etc. on a single project, who would it be and what would you do?
We would collaborate with Woody Allen… on anything!

If you could design a wardrobe for any one person (past/present/real/fictional), who would it be?
Michael Jackson

How would you describe your own personal style?
A mix of everything from vintage to modern, quirky but polished.

What is your favourite item in your personal wardrobe?
Anna – My collection of black turtlenecks
Aja – My vintage Hermes elephant cuff bracelet.

Where do you shop for clothes when you're not wearing your own?
Salvation army, vintage stores in small towns.
What is on your current fashion wishlist?
Anna – A vintage tromp l’oeil purse by Roberta Dicamerino
Aja – A pair of our black and navy spliced cigarette pants from F/W 09!

What fashion trend would you not be caught dead in?
Wearing tights as pants

What is the one item that every woman should have in her closet?
A perfectly tailored suit jacket

What is your favourite thing about the city you live in?
(New York) Right when you think you have hit your limit, it has the ability to inspire again and again

If you couldn’t be a fashion designer, what other area of interest would you like to explore?
Science

What is next for your label?
It’s top-secret!

Visit: Alex & Eli
Mociun was featured on Label Gazer today, which reminded me how much I loved their Spring Summer '10 collection.

Mociun's is known for their amazing custom fabrics, most of which are eco-friendly.
Visit: Mociun
We really want to see Wendy Wong show off her work during New York Fashion Week - so we're asking you to help send her there! Wendy Wong is the designer behind Maison, House of Spy and Beatrice Holloway and is competing in ELLE's Fashion From the Edge Competition! To view the first challenge and cast your vote visit this link. You can vote more than once!
If you find yourself in Berlin this Thursday, potipoti is premiering their SS'11 "Lovers Rock" fashion video and collection.

Rosenthalerstrasse 66
7PM - 11PM

Thank you to La Dama for introducing me to Gather Jewelry.
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A beautiful video for Carly Hunter's Spring Summer '11 collection.
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A Canadian based in Berlin writing about beautiful design, from fashion to interior and beyond.
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