sarah ellison la banda

Sarah Ellison’s Stand Out New Collection Features the Stripe

A bold Memphis sensibility meets sunny Byron Bay ease in Australian designer Sarah Ellison’s new capsule collection “La Banda,” meaning “the stripe” in Italian. Bands of ash and walnut wood lay next to each other to create a striped pattern, and rounded and rectilinear silhouettes playfully and unexpectedly alternate. Ellison expounds on how she envisions La Banda fitting into an interior: “I knew that the striped effect would create quite a lot of noise once placed into a space so I decided to design secondary furniture pieces such as side tables, consoles and screens.” Like its pithy name, the three-piece collection is concise, consisting of a decorative screen, a side table, and a console table. Each stands alone — and stands out.

In fashion, the notion of “the stripe” has a rich and varied history — a history that Ellison, a former fashion designer and stylist, was no doubt aware of. Stripes first made their appearance in the Middle Ages, when outcasts wore stripes to denote their outsider status. In 1958, French law dedicated the striped matelot or marinière to sailors. The stripe was then adopted by 1960s beatniks and counterculture, eventually transforming into an icon of leisure and to the ubiquity of the stripe in our closets today. With its conspicuous optic stripes and uninhibited silhouette, La Banda similarly encompasses qualities of rebelliousness and leisure.

As with many great inventions — the potato chip, penicillin — the collection began partly in accident and happenstance. Seeing some cutoff wood pieces lying around in the workshop, Ellison had the idea to combine tones. After a period of trial and error, a process was developed to place an ash and walnut 5mm timber banded design veneer atop timber and steel framing. “Part furniture, part sculpture is really how I see this collection,” says Ellison. “La Banda is ultimately an exercise in craftsmanship. The excitement for me is in the beauty of the timber, so I kept the forms of the collection very considered with some gentle curves and delicate proportions. My hope is that La Banda will bring an unexpected level of excitement to people’s homes.”

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