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 studying fine art, design, and history in Oregon and Montreal, she moved 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 clothing labels Electric Feathers and Mandate of Heaven.
In 2015, while completing her BFA in Textiles, 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-lacemaking that meets monthly at the Textile Arts Center in Brooklyn. She also teaches bobbin lace classes regularly at the Textile Arts Center.
Today, she is enrolled in the Costume Studies MA program at NYU, studying the history of fashion and textiles. She is working on her thesis focusing on the history of lacemaking in France, for which she did several weeks of fieldwork in Le Puy en Velay, Paris, and Lille in June 2017.
February 2016 – May 2017 • Brooklyn, NY
Sales associate at a high-end lingerie boutique in Williamsburg.
January 2015 – August 2015 • Brooklyn, NY
Working for the indie knitwear company Degen and their infant line Baby Degen hand-knitting in their Brooklyn studio. Also created several pieces out of vinyl for the SS16 My Little Pony collection.
Designer and co-creator
February 2014 – February 2015 • New York
Doll Eyes was an experimental fashion collaboration with fellow designer Stella Rose Saint Clair.
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.
January 2009 – September 2009 • Brooklyn, NY
Interned for an indie clothing company that uses sustainable and vintage materials. Responsibilities included pattern drafting, sewing, alterations, fabric sources, and screen printing fabric.
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.
2004 – 2006 • Montreal, QC
Majored in Fibers Arts with a Minor in Women and the Fine Arts
University of Oregon
2003 – 2004 • Eugene, OR
Majored in Studio Arts
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 Pointcarre Kaledo Ned Graphics for Jacquard Machine knitting Screen printing Embroidery Beading Crochet Natural and Synthetic Dyeing Fluent in Japanese Conversational French