Hazel Elstone is making the cutest clothes in Bristol
Meet Hazel, a 24-year-old clothing maker originally from Cardiff, who’s delightful image is entwined with the passion for progressive fashion and a craving for representation as part of her clothing business, Cute As.
I was inspired to start my own clothing line after not being able to find clothes that I liked and that fit me, which is probably what most people who have started their own clothing line would say, and the fact that most of my friends can’t find clothing that caters to them too, also pockets. I strive to have pockets in everything.
My biggest inspirations are cartoon characters. I love Kawaii fashion from Japan, the TV show Steven Universe, and the popstar Kyary Pamyu Pamyu. Positivity inspires my clothing a lot too, as I think that you project your emotions for the day in what you chose to wear. I’m drawn to bright, pastel colours as they make me feel happy, and I want to make people happy, as fashion tends to make people miserable anyway.
I think that representation is missing in the mainstream fashion industry. Amongst my friends, there would only be a small percentage of them that would find themselves in advertising campaigns, it’s not for everyone and that’s a massive shame. Mainstream fashion is lacking variety. People need to be represented more in how clothing is advertised and modelled there needs to be a wider spectrum of people so that people don’t think that clothing ‘isn’t for them’. Also, how clothing is constructed needs to change, even if something is sized up, it’s not scaled up properly. Even if the measurements fit you, It wouldn’t look good on you.
The hardest part was discovering how much I had to learn about business. A friend recommended me to The Princes Trust, who have a base in Bristol. They’ve been great at helping me start my business, as they show you a bit of all the things you need to know, and all for free. It was really good, as it showed me what I needed to learn about the business world, especially coming at it from an artist’s point of view.
The best advice I can give to people who want to start being creative, is to just give it a go. You can learn pretty much anything you’d like on the internet today, but I also run a twice monthly sewing-lesson drop-in, called Stitch, Please. I’m going to start running sewing lessons for more specific garments, but that’s a ‘watch this space’ situation at the moment.
At the moment, I’m most proud of creating a garment for a friend’s birthday. It was bright pink scuba, with large yellow frills on the arms and legs. They looked like a superhero. I also currently have some pieces for sale, such as my bow bags (which can fit a lot inside of them!)