Emma Gorton-Ellicott is the fashion editor of Bristol 24/7 magazine and author of her own fashion blog No Debutante. As a mainstay of the Bristol Fashion scene and champion of local, independant and ethical fashion, I asked if she’d like to meet up and be part of Fashion.Conscious.Bristol.
We met at Desklodge where she now works, running the co-working space there. I found out that she’s been in Bristol since 2002 when she moved here to start a fashion business with her now husband Phil, hilariously named Phlem as an amalgamation of their names, long before Brangelina was even a thing. Phlem sold Emma’s designs which were inspired by DIY customised punk fashion. Starting off as a market stall in St Nicks Market then graduating to a unit in the loft of BS8 on Park Street.
Sadly, the business had to fold after Emma had her first son in 2003 due to a lack of childcare or financial help for small business owners back then. After reluctantly becoming a stay at home Mum and going on to have a second son in 2006, Emma yearned for a career again but knew it needed to be something stimulating enough to justify putting her boys in childcare (a feeling I’m all too familiar with myself!).
After bagging a job at the now defunct Venue magazine in 2008, Emma started to get opportunities to write for them which led her in 2011 to start her own fashion blog No Debutante (inspired from the lyrics of Blondie’s Dreaming). As the blog gained traction and in turn Emma landed herself the fashion editor role at Bristol 24/7, she firmly established herself as an un-wavering “anti-fashion” fashion writer, shunning blogger cliques and clichés, instead staying true to herself by supporting independent Bristol fashion brands and sustainable fashion.
Describe your personal style in a sentence
A unique mash up of bright colours, prints and streetwear mixing oversized garms and fashion salvaged vintage into a mass of kawaii punk madness.
What’s your most worm item of clothing?
I think at the moment it would have to be my oversized red hooded Monki dress, it’s so warm and comfortable, I must be comfortable! I often wear my Kuccia Aztec print bomber jacket, I’ve had it for about five years and people still ask where they can buy it.
What’s the oldest item in your wardrobe?
I have a stripy skinny rib t-shirt, its in bright orange and yellows, I bought it when I was 16 so that was in 1992, I still wear it sometimes. I think it was from a shop in Bristol called Pilot? They’re selling similar stuff in Urban Outfitters now.
Which three items of clothing would you rescue in a fire?
After I had saved my kids I would go back in for a Meadham Kirchhoff x Topshop dress which is all frilly and super cute, my wedding dress – a 1950s Vivien of Holloway halter dress and my fleece lined vintage denim jacket. Its so warm and I bought it in Uncle Sams on Park street in the 90s, I would be gutted to lose it now.
Which trend do you wish would die a death?
Skinny jeans! Jeez, I am so over it. I was over it years ago and when the masses are finally over it…I’ll start wearing them again! In the early noughties people used to shout at me and my husband in the street for wearing skinny jeans, they would call my husband a girl and then a few years later the same people were wearing skinny jeans all the time. So we stopped wearing them and had to find some other clothes to annoy them with!
What’s your favourite area / shop to shop in Bristol?
I honestly don’t have a favourite area to shop in Bristol, I like all the different areas and the unique shops within them. I’ll go to Stokes Croft for That Thing, Cabot Circus for Urban Outfitters and Monki, Park Street for the little boutiques. I rarely get up to the Clifton Village but my friend owns Dustbowl Vintage which is a great little place. We also DJ at To The Moon just off Old Market, they also sell independent garms made in Bristol.