Ellen comes to the MFA with a strong professional background in costume design, construction and bridal couture. After completing a Bachelor of Design (Fashion Design) at the Canberra Institute of Technology in 2006, she has worked as specialist costume maker in dance and theatre, including for The Australian Ballet (Concord, Graeme Murphy’s Firebird and Other Legends), and commercial musicals. At the same time she has pursued a fashion career in bespoke couture, from an atelier she established in Melbourne. Her work has been featured in leading design and wedding blogs including The Design Files, Green Wedding Shoes, Polka Dot Bride and Ivory Tribe.
Prior to beginning her studies at NIDA, Ellen was Production Manager, and then Head Designer at Mariana Hardwick, one of the last remaining bridal couture houses in Australia. Her passion for team management and high-end fashion design came to the fore in this demanding industry.
Ellen is fascinated by the codes and modes of dress, and by the expression of women’s agency throughout history. Her lifelong passion for film and theatre costume design has finally be able to take priority with the MFA, and she intends to combine the intensive training from NIDA with her past experience to forge a career in professional costume design.