Designer Dance Floor: Emsie Designs

Words by: Clare Scott
Posted: 7/11/12 8:52

Designer Dance Floor: clubs inspire a wave of new fashion talent  - Episode one: Emsie Designs

          Photography by Paddy Balls - Make-up by Jaimee Thomas
Music and fashion go hand-in-hand, so it’s no surprise that on the party circuit, fashion designers are emerging from the dance floor’s mist. From jewellery and T-shirt makers, to vintage accessory and even up-cycled furniture specialists, there are a whole host of underground creatives out there. We’ve scoured the clubs to spot them, and have grilled these guys about their collections and their connections with the clubbing world.

In the first of our Designer Dance Floor series, we speak with Ems Jane, the designer behind bespoke jewellery label, Emsie Designs.

Fill us in with a bit about what you do, if you will.
I like to look at old, obsolete items and make them into handmade pieces of jewellery.

So how did you first get into it?
I have always loved making new things out of the old. I saw a brooch made out of zips one day and it gave me the idea to make a necklace out of some old zips I had in the house. It all started from there.

You studied interior design – what provoked the shift in direction?
I just decided one day that I would like to try and make a necklace and have gone from strength to strength from then. Once the ideas come I work until my vision becomes reality.

How would you describe Emsie Designs to someone that doesn’t know the brand?
Emsie Designs is all about recycling and making something beautiful.

What is it that makes your brand unique?
No two pieces are ever the same and each piece has been handmade with love and care by me. Who else do you know that can turn an old zip into a charm bracelet or an old Barbara Streisand record into a necklace?

Where do you find inspiration?
From pieces of art or just from walking around markets. I look at things that have outlived their use and think about how I could make them useful and pretty once again.

We hear you also design furniture. Tell us a little bit about that, too.
It’s more a case of ‘up-cycling’ old furniture. When I studied Interior Design, I also studied specialist decorative techniques so I do like to experiment. I don’t do it [Interior Design] so much anymore, apart from the odd request from family and friends. Although, saying that, I have had an idea using decoupage, so watch this space!

Tell us a bit about your collaboration with Crèche – how are you involved and how did it come to be?
My fiancé (Cozzy) and my best friend (Lex) run Crèche together. I started out by doing the club décor and giving them my design input. I thought it would be a good idea to have some merchandise, so that’s where my idea came from for the recycled vinyl record necklaces. Everyone loves them!

What does the future hold for Emsie Designs? We hear there’s a market stall in the pipeline.
The market stall has been confirmed, yes. Emsie Designs will be in Brick Lane’s Backyard Market as of the 11th November, so we will see how it goes from there. It would be amazing to have my own shop one day.

Who would you like to design for?
Someone like Lady Gaga would be fun to work for – can you imagine what she would get me to design... something made out of old meat, maybe? [Laughs]

Describe a favourite piece that you’ve created.
It would have to be one of my chunky zip wrap-around charm bracelets. They’re big, yet elegant and go with anything. I love that.

Just for fun, answer the following three questions:

  • 1. What’s your track of the moment?
    Koreless – 4D.

  • 2. What could you never live without?
    Hairspray! I’m known for big crispy hair!

  • 3. Where and when did you last get down on the dance floor?
    Circo Loco closing party at DC10 a few weeks back; I’m still recovering!


Emsie Designs is all about making new things out of old and useless items or utilising those items in a way you would never have imagined. Each piece has been individually handmade by Ems and no two pieces are ever the same. If you would like something in a specific design or colour, Please contact Ems Jane directly with your requirements and she will be happy to design to order.

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