Gail Elliott’s career in fashion was always inevitable for the former supermodel and now fashion designer and owner and creative director behind the fabulous clothing boutique Little Joe Woman. The now Bali based designer is our first guest in our “At Home with… series”. I met Gail recently at her brand new Bali boutique in Petitenget, not only is she even more stunning in person but she is very down to earth and exudes so much passion and drive for what she and her husband Joe Coffey are creating. Its hard not to fall in love with her designs and her inspiring attitude.
We sat down and had a chat to Gail and discussed all things design, interiors and shopping.
Tell us a little about yourself and your new boutique in Bali?
We started the label Little Joe Woman by Gail Elliott about ten years ago, and while it’s my name that people notice first, my husband Joe Coffey and I actually created it together – hence the reference to him in the name of the brand too!
I’ve always been immersed in fashion – I was fortunate enough to have had a pretty amazing 24-year run as a model, which is an incredible platform in itself. Looking back I realize it was an amazing moment in time. I was based in New York, it was the late 80’s and 90’s – a very special era for modeling, as everything changed. It went from beyond the clothes and the designers to the girls themselves. I met so many incredible people during that time, and some of them have become life-long friends.
Even amidst that, I always felt the need to express myself, to do something with what I was learning. My mind was full of fashion, it was a very creative environment and all of that inspiration had to go somewhere!
My first designs were very simple – little silk slip dresses and camisoles. They were pieces that I wanted for myself- that I knew I would wear again and again because they were perfect layering pieces that would work transeasonally, in any weather, either with dressed up with a blazer or leather jacket, or barefoot on the beach – but just couldn’t seem to find in stores anywhere at the time. They were easy to pack, totally versatile, would go with anything. And you always felt amazing in them.
That was the essence of how Little Joe Woman began, and the spirit of that is still true today, a decade later. My ethos is still the same. The Little Joe ‘woman’ [literally!] is someone that appreciates luxury but wants it to be totally wearable all the time. She’s chic, but in an understated way. And she’s busy – traveling, living, having fun – so she needs clothes that will work in all kinds of places, no matter where she ends up – just like me!
Favourite places to eat and shop in Bali?
We’re all about lunch here in Bali. Some of my favourite places are Metis, because you can’t beat it for the serenity of the space and Sardine for its locally-grown produce and line-caught fish. Petitenget Café’s great outdoor courtyard is lovely for a glass of rose on a hot day. Souq does a great breakfast, and I love that they source organic ingredients and bake all of their own cakes. The Anantara Hotel is also lovely, as it’s right on the beach so you can watch all of the action on the beach from their peaceful deck.
For stocking up on supplies to cook at home [which we do a lot], Canggu Deli, Bali Deli and Earth Café are always regular stops.
Favourite Instagram accounts for inspo?
I’m a big Instagram fan! My current go-to Instagrammers are;
@pixiecurtis – only three, but super cute and fun to follow
@cindycrawford – she’s one of my oldest, closest friends
@everymomcounts – this is Christy Turlington’s charity and regardless if you’re a mother or not, something very worthwhile to support for women all over the world
Your favourite homeware shop, either online or actual stores?
I travel all the time so I’m a bit of a bowerbird when it comes to finding beautiful pieces for my home. It’s always nice to come back with one special find from some of my favourite stores tucked away in different corners of the world.
When I’m in the States, I love ABC Carpet and Home in Manhattan. It’s five floors on Broadway – literally a whole street block – of everything you could ever need. And Williams Sonoma for practical pieces – I always pick up towels and napkins. They carry quite modern shapes, which I like.
I love that beach-chic vibe of James Perse too. It’s very Californian, casual, effortless.
One of my latest finds is Lumira candles. They’re weighty, black-glass jar affairs and are perfect for adding a special touch to a coffee table or bedside. The Cuban Tobacco one is my current scent obsession. In Singapore you can pick them up at Bungalow 55, and you can also buy them online.
My sister actually does soft furnishings so quite a few of our cushions and pillows are from her company, Gala Design, in London.
I’ll often have a peek at all of my favourite boutiques online, to see what new things they’re doing. That’s one of the brilliant things about shopping now – a few clicks and you can find amazing things without having to traipse around. Worldwide shipping options are easier than ever too.
In Bali, Carga does lovely things: lots of whitewashed rattan and simple tableware with a-Balinese artisan twist. There are hand printed gift wrapping papers, locally made ceramics, soft woven placemats. It’s a great place to find gifts for the interiorista in your life.
I love old, dark wood for texture, and statement furniture with clean, modern lines for juxtaposition.
I tend to stick to a very monochrome palette at home – the hues are always black, beige, white, grey and off white. I collect black and white photography, because I find it really soothing to look at. It’s got a timeless quality to it.
My favourite interior designer is, hands-down, Christian Liaigre. He’s French and creates both furniture and interiors. I just love everything he does. He works in the same palette that I do with his interiors, and just gets it so right. He has such a wonderful eye. Now, if only I could persuade him to swing by Bali …!
A glimpse into life at home with Gail and Joe.