I was introduced to Dusen Dusen in 2009 when I was interning for The FADER and Ellen Dusen’s designs were fan favorites around the office. I remember very specifically the first time I saw some of her clothing. The patterns and colors stuck out to me and I thought, This is for me, I need all of this. Lives change fast, and just one short year later, I found myself comforted by wearing a perfect Dusen Dusen dress while in the green room of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon waiting nervously to take the stage and perform “Boyfriend” on live television.
The timeline of my trajectory has, to some extent, mirrored Dusen Dusen’s. Interns sometimes become professional musicians, and girls who design clothing from their apartment sometimes end up seeing their designs for sale at huge stores like Urban Outfitters. Over the last two years, I’ve gotten to know Ellen better. She remains one of my favorite designers, but we’ve also become online pals. I took a trip down memory lane to my intern days blogging for FADER, and spoke with Ellen about a few things, touching, I hope, on some friendly, familiar topics that she doesn’t get asked in interviews too often.
I think you have one of the best eyes for colors and prints—what inspires the patterns you create? I spend a lot of time looking at contemporary art and zines. My current collection was heavily inspired by Ben Jones and Tauba Auerbach. I got some books of theirs that I love. The Ben Jones book is called New Painting and Drawing and the Auerbach one is called 50/50. Each page is 50% black and 50% white. My inspiration isn’t always so concrete though. A lot of the time it comes from friends, something I see on the subway, a tablecloth, a really good looking take out menu.
If you could dress one celebrity living or dead, who would it be and why? I’d say Debbie Harry in her prime. First of all, she rules, and secondly, she’s consistently been able to wear what most people couldn’t carry off and make it look amazing.
What does your favorite pair of shoes look like? Are you a heels or flats girl? I’m a flats girl. I didn’t get my first heels until about two years ago, a pair of some No 6 sandal clogs that rule. My favorite pair of shoes are these creamy light brown suede vintage loafers. I got them at Duo, the first store in Manhattan to carry my line. They have the best shoes! I’ve gotten, like, four pairs there.