THE SHOE DESIGNER THE FASHION SET ARE GOING CRAZY FOR
This article was originally published on Sleek.com
Camilla Elphick is one of those elusive beings who is both fiercely hardworking and always impeccably turned-out, rarely without a pair of vertiginous pumps, an impeccable blowdry and her equally coiffed puppy, Lulu, in tow. The day that I arrive at her Chelsea-based studio is no exception – except for the heels part; the blonde, blue-eyed designer is wearing a blue and cream lace dress by Self-Portrait, together with her mirrored Lover flats.
Even if you haven’t yet heard her name, it’s likely you’ve seen her cult Pez shoes – platform pumps with a heel shaped like a retro Pez dispenser – or those silver boots as worn by Alexa Chung. Just three seasons in, and she’s already won two prestigious design awards for her offbeat yet feminine collections – including the Future British initiative helmed by the British Fashion Council and Boden – and hooved the likes of Ellie Bamber, Dree Hemingway and Leandra Medine. So far, so good.
Tell me about your creative process. What is your starting point when you begin designing a collection?
For the upcoming season, I begin with a creative theme – something that we’re all excited and enthused about at the office. After researching, we create a giant moodboard covered in inspiring images, a colour palette, material swatches and leather samples we source from Italy. Then it’s design time!
You’re often travelling – where have you most recently been, for work and play?
Most recently I travelled to Austria – for play – to go skiing with friends. I had been in Florence, Berlin, New York, Milan and Paris for work. I’m now back in London and am planning my next trip…
Do you have a muse? If so, who?
Diane Kruger; she’s successful, elegant and refined but she also seems like she is great fun too.
Which other designers inspire you and why?
At the moment, Gucci. I went to their all-floral themed store in Florence which was fabulous.
What’s on the playlist at Camilla Elphick HQ right now?
Throwbacks from the early 2000s; think Gwen Stefani. It’s all in line with our next collection.
What’s your favourite work of art?
Masa Primavesi by Gustav Klimt.
What makes the perfect shoe?
A shoe that flatters the foot. I’m wearing our new laser-cut English Garden pumps at the moment – they make me feel elegant (and taller!) but they’re also quite unusual and tend to start conversations.
Where are your favourite places in London?
I love going to C Press with my dog Lulu for an Acai Power Bowl in the mornings. For meetings and drinks it’s always Soho House and for dinner, I go to my friend Ollie’s restaurant, Rabbit in Chelsea.
What are your summer plans?
I’m working on a few special projects which will keep me busy this summer! But our factory shuts for their holiday break in August so I am going to plan a trip to somewhere sunny – perhaps Ibiza!?
What do you tend to reach for in your own wardrobe on a daily basis?
A Bella Freud jumper teamed with double denim – Rag & Bone cropped frayed jeans with our new Traveller Boots for SS16.
What’s on your wish list right now?
A Sophie Hulme Barnsbury mini shoulder bag in hot pink.
What is Lulu wearing at the moment?
She hates the rain so she wears her yellow Mac for spring with matching collar and lead from PetsPyjamas (which Lulu also models for!).