Designer Ellie Mills on lockdown & Mi Piaci’s latest collection

16 September 2021

Fashion Quarterly caught up virtually with Mi Piaci designer Ellie Mills to hear how she’s doing in lockdown and learn more about Mi Piaci’s latest collection.

WORDS BY Hemma Vara

Mi Piaci Spring Summer 21

Tell us about the inspirations behind the current Mi Piaci collection? 

Mi Piaci’s spring summer ‘21 collection is a celebration of collective strength—with our community, our loved ones, and with our inner strength, celebrating ‘sisterhood’. The whole collection is a celebration and gratitude of times spent with loved ones. 

Inspired by the nostalgia of moments that have passed, and moments that are yet to come, we took references of retro and vintage styling, from the noughties, the 90’s, and earlier, elevating and refining them for our modern and multidimensional lives. 

Mi Piaci spring summer 21

How do you feel about lockdown? 

It’s difficult to be back here, but I’m glad that we’ve been proactive about the situation. I’m trying my best to maintain healthy habits, but I’m also treating myself to a bit of baking with the flatties.

Who’s in your bubble? 

I’m in a small bubble of four: my two flatmates Lauren & Paulo, and our flat cat Hector. We’ve been through all the lockdowns together, so we’ve got a good vibe going, apart from Hector, who is a little bit sassy and keeps us on our toes. 

Ellie Mills

What are you working on in lockdown?

At the moment, we’re solidifying colour & trend stories for Mi Piaci’s autumn winter 22 Collection. It’s a rewarding part of the process as you see the collection finally come together, just as the customer would view it on shelves. 

Lockdown has thrown a bit of a spanner in the works—our days usually revolve around handling samples, cutting, amending, and fittings. However, we’ve managed to create some amazing ranges over the past three seasons, all affected by lockdowns, so I have faith in the process and our wonderful team. 

What are you doing to stay well in lockdown?

I try to stick to as much of a routine as possible, prioritising a work-life balance. Another thing that helps me is Hector. It’s so nice having a little fluffy friend to calm you down. 

Life drawings
Victoria sponge

For those of us in lockdown, what are your recommendations for staying entertained? 

I have been going rogue with my baking and making new creations, which have turned out surprisingly well. I have hodge-podged a few cakes—my best creation being a levelled up Victoria Sponge from my mum’s old Mary Berry Cookbook.

I regularly practice life drawing, so I’ve tried to keep it going in lockdown. I follow Instagram accounts that inspire me and provide weekly drawing prompts. @stillherestilllife posts still life prompts and features amazing content submitted by followers. It’s so interesting to see each person’s take on the same image. I’ve also been inspired by @mad.charcoal who has an amazing way of working. He’s helped me to become a bit looser with my work and achieve some interesting pieces.

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