As the days become shorter and the winter nights draw ever closer, cosy season is truly upon us. With pyjamas and sleepwear firmly founded in our DNA, we turn to our original YOLKEgirl, our founder and creative director, Ella Ringner.
What inspired the launch of Yolke & how has it evolved since?
Textiles have always been my first love. From printed to costume & the stories woven into them I have always been fascinated with their origins, colour and feel. For me clothing can carry a memory just like a scent or a piece of music. I wanted to create pieces for the big and small moments in people’s lives, for times when they want to feel their most confident or comforted.
When Yolke first started we were selling vintage inspired pyjamas & homewares made in the UK showcasing the finest fabrics & technique whilst showing all the products on our growing network of YOLKEgirls, from photographers to jewellery designers, chefs and writers. Since then, the focus on dressing creative women and quality has remained the same but I have expanded our offering into new collections from children’s pyjamas to table linens. Everything features playful prints & beautiful colour combinations to give the wearer a spring in their step or joy to their table.
Prints play a big role in the design aesthetic of the brand, why is this important to you & where do you source your prints?
We work with archives in London and New York to source vintage prints, but inspiration can also come from a piece of fabric, a botanical book or flower. Since moving to the countryside in lockdown I have painted the flowers & nature growing in the garden around me developing these into prints, from the foxgloves in Spring to the blackberries in Autumn. When we launched our table linens this aspect was intrinsic to the evolution of the collections with the prints and the colours working in harmony with seasonal flowers in the garden.
What is your favourite flower?
Smell is so important to me and two flowers which take me right back to my childhood are Sweet peas and geraniums.
You talk about tradition & memory in your clothes, where did you grow up & how has this inspired you?
I grew up in Bristol, with the first years of my life living on boat in the docks that my Swedish father built. It was quite eclectic with a roll top bath, a goose called Sylvester and a sauna as every Swedish boat/ home needs. My Canadian mother covered it in red geraniums and looked after the swans & for a time it was known as Bristol’s floating garden.
We were surrounded by paints, fabrics, books and plans laid out on the kitchen table. It was incredibly creative, and we were very much encouraged artistically and creatively.
Where did you study?
After a fine art course in Toronto and a couple of years working for Temperley London I went to Central Saint martins for a BA in textile design.
Describe your style.
I would say whilst I love to dress in colour & have fun with what I wear I am also quite traditional and unapologetically romantic when it comes to layering from suits to dresses, with never enough vintage white blouses and silk taffeta bows.
What is your favourite thing about what you do?
I love to work with other female founded brands on collaborations from our linens with Willow Crossley to our embroidery with Cressida Jamieson it’s so much fun to apply print to a new product or simply celebrating traditional production methods with a playful twist. We have something exciting launching at the end of this month with an incredible female founded interiors brand which I cannot wait to gift to all my friends and family this Christmas.
What does Yolkegirl mean to you?
It started as a means to showcase the clothes on real women but has grown into an incredible group of women that represent the values of the brand. A joyful community of kindness, collaboration and creativity that starts with the women who make our clothes to the women that wear them.
Talk us through your perfect Sunday
It’s the one day of the week we don’t all have to be up early & out the house so although I am an early bird I like to stay in my pyjamas & make breakfast for the family, which is usually pancakes on a Sunday. Then up and out for a stomp with a thermos of tea and back for cooking up a big lunch, reading the papers by the fire and then early to bed after a hot bath. Easy like Sunday all day.