From a young age, Ella Batley has always had a keen eye for fashion. From entering a school wearable arts show to graduating with a Fashion Design degree from AUT. “The idea of designing garments that help others achieve this idea of individualism is something I aspire to do.” Batley’s graduate collection mixed the versatility of sportswear with high fashion from the Victorian era along with the intricate details seen in Bolivian architecture. These three elements captured the fine line between playful and feminine design seen in Batley’s graduate collection. This collection manifests the concept of Pulchrism; an art movement founded by artist Jesse Waugh, which celebrates the idea that beauty is paramount.

Making sportswear that is ultimately designed with functionality in mind and turning it into something visually appealing was something Batley aimed to achieve. “Pairing the functionality of sportswear with the clothing aesthetic of the Victorian and early Edwardian era isn’t something that comes to one’s mind at first, however, I really liked playing with this idea conceptually.” From her studies she has learnt the importance of being clear around what her end goal is and what she hopes to achieve with every project she takes on. “Along with this, hard work and dedication are the elements that are going to set you apart from the rest.” Batley is most definitely inspired by the fashion industry as a whole as well as the skills she has learnt through her fashion design journey so far.

For Batley, sewing is an invaluable art skill for any individual, especially from a sustainable point of view. “Even being able to do small things like fixing a hem can prolong the lifetime of a garment whilst reducing material consumption.” Through her internship experience for both small and large-scale New Zealand designers she has gained a bigger understanding of the New Zealand fashion industry. “Being a young designer, the biggest challenge would be trying to break into the fashion industry, particularly with the small industry we are situated within.” Currently, Batley uses social media as her main platform to showcase her designs and for generating sales.