Ellen Kelsick says making something out of nothing “throws out the blueprint” of a good life.
The designer spent her 20s trying to get someone to buy her leather jacket — spending hours building the wardrobe.
“I feel like a canvas is where my inspiration comes from,” she said. “Materialistic people gravitate toward materials that symbolize some sort of status or something. I don’t live out of that.”
Kelsick, who works as a financial analyst at College Board, prefers to work alone in her garage studio, kneading, cutting and creating by hand. She enjoys sharing how she makes her leathers, skirts and clothing.
So do 9 other designers who made the Washington Post’s Cop26: Wardrobe, an exposé of personal style in Washington. D.C. The profiles will appear in the upcoming feature, available in print Thursday and online Sunday.
Not only do they make their work for sale online, but they offer a unique personal style, something they say is antithetical to Washington, the means of its creation. All but one craft some sort of artistic statement, be it a metal, human-like form or a garment with a subversive meaning.