In a few short years via Manor House, Charterhouse and Paris Fashion week, Ella Seale now works as a designer for London fashion house All Saints (Nov 2019).
After her Senior years spent at Manor House, Ella attended sixth form at Charterhouse, followed a First class degree at Nottingham Trend University. She credits her unpaid internships during her university years and attending Graduate Fashion week as a way of getting noticed in the “real world”, helping her to stand out in a hugely competitive market.
When did you leave Manor House?
I left in 2010, at the end of Year 11.
Where did you spend your Sixth Form and go to University?
Sixth form was at Charterhouse, then Nottingham Trent University. I graduated with a First in Fashion Design specialising in Womenswear.
We talk of unforgettable experiences at Manor House School. Can you share one or two of yours?
Our school trip to Knapp House stands out, in Year 6 maybe? And lots of sport!
Mostly, I remember trips to The Dell, being free to roam. We’d make up ridiculous games! We imagined each bush was a shop and we used leaves as money. We definitely stayed younger for longer.
Not sure other girls our age would have done the same but we loved it. At the time….we really didn’t realise how special it was.
What do you do now?
I’m a designer for All Saints, a London fashion brand based in Shoreditch. I also work on our Outwear sub brand, Shoreditch Ski Club”.
What was your path to the job you’re in now?
I did an internship between my second and third years at University – lots of driving between work and Uni. Also I wasn’t paid for the internship as my degree course wasn’t a sandwich course so it was challenging at times.
I delivered my final collection in Year 3 and took part in Graduate Fashion Week, I think it helped when it came to applying for jobs afterwards as people could see what I’d already done in the outside world.
I also worked for a small Chinese fashion brand before I joined All Saints.
Tell us something about your work that might surprise us?
At Paris Fashion week…I was left pretty much on my own to produce my show, very stressful!…and I was often awake for thirty sixhours at a time. Also lots and lots of waiting around, not as glamourous as people think!
What memories of your teachers stand out?
I wasn’t so strong in Sciences, but I always felt supported by the teachers. I remember in particular Mrs Hutton, who was supportive and kind. And Mrs Williams who gave everyone confidence. I was quite shy when I was younger, and things like Drama really helped me come out of my shell. It made us open to trying new things, but also to being ourselves. No pressure to be anything else.
What travelling have you done?
After Charterhouse, I worked for six months and then went travelling to Tanzania with my best friend from Manor House. I also spent time traveling around Asia.
Earlier on in my career, I worked for a Chinese brand and I spent one month in China. Because it was a small company, I lived in my boss’s flat there. It was really basic and a long way from any big cities. It was hard at times but it made me realise that I could survive outside of my normal home comforts.
Are you still in touch with MHS friends?
Yes, we see each other all the time! Just when I was waiting for your (phone) call, I was chatting to one of them here (whilst waiting outside on a London street near Ella’s work).
There’s about fifteen of us who’ve been in touch right through from when we left Manor House. We have a Whatsapp group and we have a Christmas meal every year. We’re lucky, most of us live in London so it’s easy to get together and see each other often.
And lastly… your favourite app at the moment?
“Perfect Dog”….everyone should have it!