Ella Boucht Dazed 100 portrait
Ella Boucht
“I want to build a platform online where I can show my own work and highlight queer people and their creative practices

Ella Boucht

Age - 27
 London, United Kingdom
@ellaboucht
Ella Boucht
“I want to build a platform online where I can show my own work and highlight queer people and their creative practices

In 2016, Rihanna wore an oversized pink puffer coat on the streets of Paris. The look went pretty viral pretty fast, but unbeknownst to most the item in question was designed by Ella Boucht, a Finnish BA student at The Swedish School of Textiles, as part of their final collection.

Going on to become an MA graduate from CSM, Boucht’s work has evolved far past its streetwear beginnings. Inspired by the lesbian community, Boucht designs clothes for “butches, dykes, female masculine, and non-binary people”. Coming in the form of oversized and deconstructed suits, the designer seeks to explore gender as “something unfixed, something fluid” in their work, while vying to “fill the void” around the erasure of lesbian history in the fashion industry. 

“People probably know me more for my bold sportswear,” they explain. “But during the past years, after being suppressed so often by Instagram for sharing what is important to me, I’ve really found the core and focus of my work.”

“I have always considered myself a feminist and an activist with anarchistic inclinations,” they say. “I act through my work and use it to support the LGBTQI+ community.”

When it comes to your work, what are you most proud of?

Ella Boucht: I’m very happy and proud to see how many people have related to my work. I find it inspiring and encouraging to continue the movement/fight together – to open up discussions regarding queer and lesbian women and their identities, needs, and desires in life. It’s amazing to see how much impact clothes can have outside the fashion industry.

How do you want to influence the future?

Ella Boucht: For me, it is very important to work towards democratic fashion and listen to the people I design for/work with regardless of their gender, class, sexuality, race or disability. And I wish to influence people to include and support more butch women, dykes, and lesbians. To hire them and make space for them to exist as much as everyone else in our society, for a more accepting future. And to remember to have fun while we are fighting against the oppression, to show love and dance as much as we riot. 

“I find it inspiring and encouraging to open up discussions regarding queer and lesbian women and their identities, needs, and desires in life” – Ella Boucht

How has the Coronavirus outbreak affected you, your work, and/or your community?

Ella Boucht: We live in limbo and no one can predict exactly how the crisis is going to affect us in the long run. My own queer community from London/Helsinki and the global LGBTQ+ communities are already in weaker positions, and this pandemic has definitely not made our lives easier. But I’ve also seen the power of our communities, people are coming together to support each other, finding new ways to keep in touch with loved ones, hosting parties online and fighting to keep each other’s heads above water. We’re forced to find new solutions, to change the broken system, and hopefully we will all come out stronger from this dreadfulness. 

As I’ve just graduated and had plans to keep working to support myself economically and to continue building my own creative practice, this situation is obviously not helping me to move forward. But I have had to stop and think. I want to see this as an opportunity for me to reflect and take control, instead of falling into the self-defeating rat race of the fashion industry.

What creative or philanthropic project would you work on with a grant from the Dazed 100 Ideas Fund?

Ella Boucht: I will explore new ways of presenting my work through a website, building a platform online where I can show both my own work within fashion as well as highlighting queer people and their creative practices. It will be a safe place to share film, photography, writings, and to address the importance of archiving and spreading LGBTQ+ history, especially giving the lesbians/non-binary people the spotlight.

I want to show others and myself that it’s possible to work at a slower tempo. I’ve always questioned the never-ending rapid cycle of fashion that we easily get pulled into as graduates. To fight for freedom in creation, and the creation of self/identity is the fundament of my work.

Jessica Heron-Langton

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