Fashion and Textile Designer Brooklyn, NY
A descendent of Mennonite missionaries, Elena spent her childhood moving between Pennsylvania, Oregon, and Japan. She spent her formative years in Tokyo and frequented the trendy neighborhood of Harajuku, soaking in the avant-garde fashions parading the streets.
After moving to NYC in 2007. She cut her chops in the fashion industry working full time as a costume designer for Courtney Love, and for the indie fashion label Electric Feathers.
While completing her BFA in Textiles in 2015, she won the George T. Dorsch Art Historical Award, which enabled her to go on a four-month trip across Europe to study the historical art lacemaking. Upon her return she founded the Brooklyn Lace Guild, an organization devoted to preserving the art of hand-making lace that meets monthly at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn.
In 2016, she began her MA in Costume Studies at NYU. The field research she conducted on her lace travels in Europe in 2015 became the focus of her thesis, "The Disconnected Web: Making Lace by Hand in a Modern World." After spending a year as an intern for European Textiles Curator Melinda Watt at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, she was hired full-time as the Collections Specialist at the Antonio Ratti Textile Center. On the side, she teaches bobbin lace classes at the Textile Arts Center, gives lectures, and makes lace of her own design.
June 2013 – Present • Brooklyn, NY
Teaches regular bobbin lace classes, as well as participating in other events in the TAC community.
June 2011 – June 2012 • New York
Assistant at the indie clothing company Electric Feathers. Responsibilities included assisting in design, managing production, ordering materials, wholesale and retail sales, and personal assistance to creative director Leana Zuniga.
January 2010 – June 2011 • New York
Designer and seamstress for Courtney Love’s custom clothing line Never The Bride, worn on Hole’s international tour in 2010.
Antonio Ratti Textile Center
October 2018 – Present • Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC
MA Costume Studies
August 2016 – Present • New York
Studying fashion and textile history at NYU, with a focus on lace history.
Undergraduate - BFA
2012 – 2015 • New York
Majoring in Textile Arts with a Minor in Art History, graduating summa cum laude in May 2015.
Kornit Sustainable Design Competition, Kornit Textiles
George T. Dorsch Scholarship Award, FIT (Funding a lace conservation project involving traveling across Europe to study lacemaking and interview lacemakers for a book.)
HFPA Scholarship Award, Home Fashion Products Association
Illustrator Photoshop Bobbin Lacemaking Needle Lacemaking Weaving Garment Construction Machine knitting Screen printing Embroidery Crochet Natural and Synthetic Dyeing Fluent in Japanese Conversational French