Studio Visit: Emily Millichip

For a while now, we’ve been wanting to visit Emily Millichip’s studio. We met this Edinburgh based designer at the Stitch Lounge and really liked her aesthetics and the bright fabrics she uses in her designs.

Emily’s studio is based at the Art’s Complex, which used to be a colossal office space now converted into studios for local artists, designers and start ups.

We spoke to Emily to find out what inspired her to become a fashion designer and know more about her favourite places in Edinburgh. Read the interview after the photos.

When did you first start designing? Also, who or what inspired you to become a designer?

I started designing in my early twenties, mainly through an extreme hatred for all of the clothes that were in the shops. Things have improved in the UK but for a while there seemed to be a misconception that the country was populated by 16 year old supermodels. I was really into the style of the 1950s and was ordering clothes from California. Eventually I thought that it would be cheaper and easier to learn to make the clothes myself. It was also probably the result of getting a ‘proper’ degree and doing a string of horrible jobs in admin. I decided I needed more colour in my life and waved goodbye to being able to pay my rent on time.

What do you draw inspiration from?

I am inspired by high trash, interesting people, crazy grannies, reading, adventure, music and cheap red wine. When I have time I look at personal style blogs as I find them much more relevant than fashion magazines which bore me to death. I also like to go on solo camping trips and get drunk on rum and concoct new plans around the campfire.

When you’re designing, what woman do you have in mind?

I am always designing for myself. I tend to imagine an amazing scenario I want to be in and then go about making the outfit I would need for such a scenario. This involves a lot of imaginary trailer parks and trips to Mars. Frequently it involves ridiculous Hawaiian prints, silver sequins and pink wigs. In reality though I have mostly made some great outfits to go and buy milk from the shop.

Tell us about your favourite places in Edinburgh.

My favourite places in Edinburgh are all of the beautiful old graveyards, Portobello Beach, little old man pubs and anywhere in Leith. Leith is amazing. Why would you want all of the dignified grandeur of the New Town when you could have the chaos of Leith?

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