B: It plays heavily into our collections. We base each collection off out interpretation of a literary genre. We launched with Gothic Romance, our second collection was inspired by The Great American Frontier–specifically the brothels of the Old West–and our third collection was inspired by sci-fi. Our upcoming Spring/Summer ‘13 collection is inspired by maritime, sea fantasy. You can get so much inspiration from literature; it’s incredible. Our Fall ‘12 collection hits stores this week. We referenced sci-fi and cyberpunk novels like Dune, Ubik, The Diamond Age, Neuromancer and listened to music like Air, Fever Ray, Iron Maiden, M83 and The Knife while creating. You’ll see that this collection has a lot of leather, metallic, galactic brocades, a tough yet feminine look and a minimalistic backdrop. For our lookbook it was dewy face, bold lip and alien ballerina hair.
What would be on your current mood board?
K: Currently on our mood board are photos of mermaids, John Fante, a coral Cadillac, and the Beverly Hills Hotel.
B: Along with pages from Taschen’s Los Angeles: A Portrait of a City, a lot of cool obscure looking barnacles, starfish, sea anemones, coral and moss colored fabric swatches. Also black net that looks like bondage fabric yet still evokes a nautical, fishing feel and Polaroids of our girlfriends wearing our clothes.
K: We also have one mood board that is constant and never changes. It’s a compilation of all of our favorite things and people that act as style icons for us. Maya Deren, Miss Hannigan from Annie, Blousey and Tallulah from Bugsy Malone, dreamy photos from Robert Altman’s film Three Women, our grandfather’s painting. A lot of cinematic characters fill that board.
What’s on your current playlist?
B: Our current Elkin playlist is specific to our Spring/Summer collection, which is inspired by Los Angeles retro beach bondage of the 1930s-1950s, so it’s: The Beach Boys, Bessie Banks, The Shirelles, Maxine Brown, The Ronettes and Best Coast. That playlist helps gets us in the mood and inspires us as we create. We set a specific playlist for each collection. Music plays such a big role in the creation of our collections.
K: On our everyday playlists, it’s more of an eclectic mix: Rilo Kiley, The Elected, Tom Waits, Dolly Parton, Hanni El Khatib, France Gall, Ratatat, Murder City Devils, JJAMZ, Nightmare and the Cat. A lot of old music mixed with music by our friend’s bands.
Who is the Elkin girl?
K: Our girlfriends, who all happen to be beautiful artists! They are classy with a sprinkle of crude. They are youthful, rebellious, daring both in their personal style and the way they live their lives, intelligent, artistic, sophisticated, style chameleons, honest, bold, confident and of course fun.
B: You will still see our ever-present Lolita style dresses and our sophisticated Lolita girl, and of course the Elkin paradox of dainty with dark, pretty with punk, which is indicative of the bad girl, good girl dynamic of our brand.
Do you follow current fashion trends and designers?
B: I guess you could say we follow what’s going on in fashion, but we don’t follow trends or get too involved in what’s “in” right now, because it ends up being a mind-fuck when designing. We are more inspired by literature, music, cinema, travel, vintage treasures and our LA lifestyle than by current trends or existing designers.
Do you travel a lot? What are your favorite places?
B: When we’re not working, we love traveling. I love Paris. I love Mexico. And I love camping. I love any travel adventure really.
K: Yes. I love Mexico, I love Portugal, and I love our family ranch in Santa Ynez. But I always ache to be back in LA.
Any exciting plans on the horizon that you can share?
K: We’re working on a secret collab with an amazing girl friend of ours.
B: We’re working on making each collection better and better and more interesting. And we’re working on Elkin Vintage Home Decor.