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Quick interview with Birgitta Helmersson and Elizabeth Yong


The studio that I visited the most this year (without much doubt) is that of Birgitta Helmersson ... This is not particularly surprising given that two of Milly Sleeping's labels have operated from her space - but the many, many quick viewings and pick-ups of fresh stock does also accurately tell of the popularity of these labels.

... Most often, I would drop into Birgitta's light and tempting shop-front/work-space (about half an hour later than I said I would), and find B. there - inevitably bright herself, and busy. Birgitta's consistent energy and good humour, notwithstanding her incredible workload, as a designer and a maker and a mum, is one of (my) life's great mysteries. A few times on my visits (including my last for the year), there was the nice surprise of also finding the lovely Elizabeth Yong at the large work table ...

... You may recall that the launch of their collaborative label - Elizabeth + Birgitta - was the first event held at Milly Sleeping early this year. From the beginning, the label was a small-scale but exciting project, which promised many a good thing (made from linen). And it hasn't disappointed. As a tiny marker of their shining contribution to Milly, we asked Birgitta and Elizabeth to say a little about the year that's been, and a little about the year to come ...


MS: It must be around this time of year last year that you started the Elizabeth + Birgitta project. Does it feel like a year?

E + B: It actually seems much longer than a year. It feels like we’ve been working together for ages, but in a good way!

Does the collab label feel different to your personal labels?

Yes. E+B is a very good representation of the two of us combined. We make different things to what each of us would individually and we both love what we make together.

It appears to have happened and evolved very fluidly - does it feel like that to you?

Yes, but we’ve made a conscious effort to make it enjoyable and not stressful. We began it as a one-off project but it’s surprising, to us even, that it’s evolved into its own thing.

(Let's pretend I didn't see your sketches) ... is there another collection forthcoming?

Yes, we’re working on it now and are excited about working on our first printed fabric design.

Is there anything (else) that you're looking forward to in 2017?

E: I’m moving into a new studio in the CBD. I’m looking forward to moving into this new space and the energy it will bring to next year’s projects.

B: I have some new collaborative projects in the pipeline that I’m very excited about. And on a personal note - getting healthy and getting into yoga!