One of our favorite Chicago fashionistas and FashionFiles style crush, Elina Casell Hjalmarson, is set to debut her first ready-to-wear collection with a glitzy runway show and party November 2 at Venue One in Chicago. The Swedish beauty made a splash on the local fashion scene last winter with the launch of her limited edition — and highly coveted — handbag collection, and now she brings her chic aesthetic and style to RTW.
Elina Casell Season 1 is a full line of women’s clothes and handbags, and includes jackets, pants, jumpers, blouses and skirts inspired by Elina’s personal style and experiences. We caught up with Casell and chatted about her new line, favorite pieces and what to expect from the young designer in the future.
FashionFiles: What is the inspiration behind the collection?
I am very inspired by nature. Natural hues are the main theme in my collection. I also love brick walls and concrete sidewalks and buildings, basically anything with different and rich textures; things like that are always very interesting to me.
FF: Walk us through the process of designing the collection – from sketches to materials to the final product.
Designing a collection is a pretty long process. Getting something I have in my head on to paper and then try to get others to “see” my vision and assist in creating the actual garment is sometimes a challenge. I am involved with every aspect, from choosing materials, colors, textures, zippers, buttons, etc. I know what I want and I focus on getting top quality fabrics to make my garments and handbags.
FF: What is your favorite look from the collection and why?
I actually have three favorites. I adore my brown suede jacket because I love both the color and texture. I also love my black suede & leather skirt because it stands for what my brand is all about. It’s a simple skirt, but what makes it interesting is the mixture of textures and textiles. And lastly, I have to say my black leather dress because it’s the one piece I worked on the longest, it’s the dress that stands out the most from the collection.
FF: Who is the woman you are designing for?
The woman I design for is sophisticated but still has an edge to her. I have pieces in my collection that would fit most personalities and styles, but I would say that the typical woman shopping my line is between 20 and 40 years old, she enjoys being sexy but in a sophisticated way, all while maintaining a little bit of edge to herself.
FF: What are your plans for future collections?
I am planning on expanding into menswear, so all you guys out there – stay tuned! I also want to work with knitwear in the near future.
Elina Casell Season 1 debuts November 2 with a runway show at Venue One in Chicago, and trust us, you don’t want to miss it. Not only would you be able to see the entire collection modeled by the wives and girlfriends of the Chicago Blackhawks, but proceeds of ticket sales will go to the Inner-City Education Program. So hurry and get you tickets fast, as spots are quickly filling up (buy tickets here.)
Hope to see you there!